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Overcoming Challenges

What are the obstacles to diversity?

April 24, 2018 Photo

What is the biggest remaining challenge to creating an environment that encourages greater diversity at leadership positions within claims and litigation organizations?

“Retention. Insurance companies and law firms are improving at recruiting diverse talent. However, we need to get better at retaining talented, diverse employees long enough for them to gain the experience necessary to assume leadership positions. We need to connect diverse employees to powerful sponsors early in their tenures.”

Ellen Storch,
Partner, Kaufman Dolowich Voluck. CLM Member since 2016.

“I have found the biggest challenge to creating a diverse work environment is promoting the idea that diversity is not granular, but rather essential to an organization as a whole. Diversity in leadership is only one part of the equation—it symbolizes equality in advancement.”

Robert Pariser,
Partner, Lydecker Diaz. CLM Member since 2010.

“Mothers lose leadership access because they do more at home. Since 2008, mothers are increasingly shopping online and hiring out help. They spend over 70 percent of household income. They can be good workers and good mothers. They want to work for and buy from companies that have women leaders. Be one!”

Mary DePaolo Haddad,
Of Counsel, Helsell Fetterman LLP. CLM Member since 2015.

“Embrace the idea that doing what you have always done will only get you what you already have. It’s time to benefit from innovation, and from the uniqueness of diverse leaders. Be first. Leverage purely objective criteria. Thoughtfully consider those who raise their hands. Invite new players to change the game.”

Ruth Chandler Cook,
Founder, CEO, HireHer, CLM Fellow since 2018.


Percent of executives who rated diversity
and inclusion as an important issue in 2017,
up from 59% in 2014.

Source: Deloitte


Companies in the top quartile for
racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

Source: McKinsey & Company


Number of women CEO positions
at S&P 500 companies.
Source: Catalyst


Percent of Fortune 500 companies that release complete
data on the race and gender of employees for each job category and management.

Source: Fortune


Percent of companies that say improving culture is the
top reason they focus on diversity. Sixty-two percent said
improving company performance was the top reason, and 49%
said to better represent customers.

Source: LinkedIn


About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is senior managing editor for CLM Magazine and Construction Claims magazine.  phil.gusman@theclm.org

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