Measuring Diversity in Law Firms

  • August 17, 2012

The increasing diversity of the Canadian labour force and Canadian law school graduates means that many law firm managers have incorporated diversity and inclusion initiatives in their talent management processes. Measurement is a key component of many successful diversity initiatives and consequently many law firms have begun, or contemplated, assessing their firm’s current diversity performance.

The purpose of this guide is to assist law firms in measuring their diversity performance. The guide describes measurement strategies and the major steps involved in measuring diversity for firms that wish to engage in survey measurement of diversity performance. 

There are two major types of survey data used to assess an organization’s diversity performance:

  1. self-identification data, which is used to assess the representation of diverse groups, and
  2. diversity climate data, which is used to assess inclusiveness.

For each type of data, the guide provides information on how to collect and use them.

This guide also provides some background information on current law firm realities, the role that diversity plays in organizational performance, and the impact of different approaches to diversity management. Understanding the context can help organizations to link their diversity measurement initiatives to their strategic plan. Even firms that do not wish to engage in surveying to measure diversity performance may find this background information helpful in their efforts toward inclusiveness.

We hope that law firms will use this guide to become more effective diversity managers, because a more inclusive approach can lead to greater success.

The guide was published with funding generously provided by the Law for the Future Fund.

Also watch a video of Sally Gomery, Partner, Norton Rose Canada LLP, speaking about the value of assessing diversity and inclusion performance and how the CBA guide, Measuring Diversity in Law Firms, can help ensure the success of such initiatives.

Sally Gomery


Measuring Diversity in Law Firms