Is ROI the Appropriate Measure for D&I?

Competition for diversity and inclusion dollars can be fierce. And more and more often, funders – law firms and corporate law departments – will query the ROI. What return can they expect for any particular D&I activity? Will their lawyers return with new business if they send them to a minority bar convention? Will they be able to market their inclusion on a “best of” list or herald their designation as the winner of an award if they sponsor an event? Will their lawyers get to network with high-powered business executives if they sponsor or underwrite a reception?

In this report, IILP explores whether one of the reasons the legal profession continues to lag behind other professions in terms of its diversity is because as a profession we continue to fund D&I in ways that generate returns that may not actually advance D&I in a meaningful way?

  • Is ROI the right measure for D&I? 
  • If it is, how do we make sure that efforts that may be meaningful and have significant impact but not result in obvious returns can still get adequate funding? 
  • If not, what might be a better way to think about distinguishing among the myriad D&I offerings and limited resources and appropriately assessing and evaluating D&I efforts?

Download report.

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