Diversity-Driven RFPs Can Help Secure Your Preferred Outside Firm
June 24, 2015
“Diversity” has become a watchword in the corporate world. Its meaning has broadened to include categories such as professional background, age, socio-economic class and education, all of which contribute to a more holistic approach to any issue. Attorneys with different backgrounds and experiences can provide a more comprehensive, engaged level of problem solving and collaboration, which can lead to new ideas and deeper analyses of legal and corporate issues.
While general counsel may have in mind a diverse, well-balanced and talented firm they’d like to hire, they probably have to internally sell a board, management committee or a purchasing department on the idea before they can proceed.
This is where the RFP is key. An RFP that thoroughly vets a firm’s team composition can effectively tip the purchasing scales toward your preferred firm. Data is important, but to fully leverage a firm’s diversity, it’s helpful to look at its proactive efforts. Do they have a diversity committee? Do they have full-time diversity professionals among the partnership ranks or management positions? Is there continual diversity training for employees?
In both the corporate and legal worlds, we’re seeing RFPs that aren’t shy about diversity requirements. There’s no reason not to be explicit, because the benefits are indisputable and apparent. We’re seeing more firms tout their diversity programs as a means of obtaining more business. As many as 60 percent of Fortune 100, 500, or 1000 companies mention diversity as a selling point.
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