To Build a DEI Program That Works, You Need Metrics

It’s easy to set aside two hours for a workshop and call it a day, but companies that are truly committed to making progress on their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are ready for a heavier lift. Accomplishing real change requires changing the systems that corrode inclusion, which means people have to build new habits.

Even though people like their old habits.

Here’s an example. When one law firm’s director of diversity and inclusion and partner in charge of diversity and inclusion proposed changing the firm’s system for allocating work opportunities, they met a brick wall of skepticism. Partners are under a lot of pressure to deliver while keeping billable hours charged to the client low, and many believe that the least risky path to success is to keep giving the high-profile work to people who they’ve worked with in the past. In other words, their old habits were working for them, and they saw a risk in trying to change them.

But these old…

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This article was written by Joan C. Williams and originally published on