The focus of the activities and also the challenges for LGBTIQ in the work environment vary depending on the industry – therefore PROUT AT WORK, together with co-initiator Dentons, set the starting signal for a regular, industry-internal exchange: LGBTIQ in Law.
Contrary to all possible competitive situations regarding clients, the law firms were united in this case by the goal: to learn from each other, to motivate and inspire each other – for LGBT*IQ with equal opportunities in the workplace. “If we want to make a lasting change, it will only be possible if some law firms act together and put the usual diversity-washing, which is prevalent in Germany, on the back burner. The road will not be easy!” said Robert Michels, Europe People Partner and Co-Head of the European and Global Blockchain and Capital Markets Groups at Dentons.
The nearly 20 participants from numerous large law firms traveled from all over Germany and were guests of co-initiator Dentons in Frankfurt for an afternoon. In the form of a workshop, they worked together on specific framework conditions and challenges in the industry. In addition to the idea of networking, there were also a number of substantive topics on the agenda: In small groups, the participants discussed issues surrounding the special challenges of law firms with a focus on the topics of networking, out executives and allies and how these challenges can be met. Visibility, sustainability and the special decision-making process in partner-led law firms were identified as major keywords – top-down solutions from the business world may not be transferable here, but require a specific approach that takes into account the organizational structure of law firms.
Language – especially gender-sensitive language and legal language – is also a topic that D&I managers, networkers, partners and allies in law firms deal with: Are there (legal) frameworks and restrictions for the use of gender-sensitive language in contracts, official letters or communication with clients? Are there formal or informal rules on internal and/or external communication? How are these implemented?
The third large block of the agenda covered the topics of business case & measurability. Exciting discussions about different cultural and legal aspects in the USA and Europe / Germany, for example with regard to the German Data Protection Act (DSGVO), developed as well as exchanges about the use of feedback / survey results both in the concrete implementation and evaluation of measures and for internal business cases.
The will for joint initiatives, the overarching enthusiasm for the topic, and the determined networking among the participants once again showed how valuable the exchange is. The focus was primarily on the legal framework for data collection in Germany (keyword DSGVO), as well as the mutual influence of corporate culture and trust in employee surveys on the topic of diversity, as well as on areas of application of collected data. Interesting discussions unfolded on the topic of the business case including corporate culture ‘for the sake of it’.
PROUT AT WORK would like to thank all participants and co-initiator Dentons for the exciting exchange at this successful kick-off event! With the aim to build networks and to enable sustainable exchange and work on projects, LGBT*IQ in Law will take place about 3x / year.
Your law firm wants to be part of the LGBT*IQ in Law series? Get in touch with us!