The Inclusion Blueprint is a joint initiative between ChIPs and Diversity Lab. It provides diversity benchmarks of historically underrepresented groups (female lawyers, underrepresented racial/ethnic lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities) in law firm leadership and across practice groups (including IP). The Inclusion Blueprint also includes inclusion efforts for law firms to adopt to ensure their lawyers have fair and equal access to compensation, leadership roles, and other critical career-enhancing opportunities.
“Law firms must do more to develop a deep bench of diverse leaders and to create cultures where women can gain meaningful experiences in IP, a speciality that has persistently lagged in diversity of all types. An important step is tracking the data and work experiences.”
Noreen Krall, ChIPs Co-Founder and Board Chair
Not Your Typical Diversity Survey
The Inclusion Blueprint is different from traditional diversity surveys, as it goes beyond just measuring headcount. In addition to assessing the overall representation of diverse groups in leadership and at the practice group level, it asks if firms are actively monitoring and measuring their lawyers’ work activities and experiences, such as work allocation, leave, sponsorship, client pitches, and other critical development and advancement opportunities. The purpose is to ensure that diverse lawyers have equal access to these opportunities and to interrupt any unconscious biases that may exist within firms’ practices or structures.
There are three main categories of questions:
Current diversity representation target thresholds and year-over-year progress
Ongoing inclusion practices and activities
A commitment to ‘hard’ actions to be implemented over the next year
The Inclusion Blueprint is conducted annually and is open to Am Law 200 firms by invitation. In 2020, Diversity Lab will issue the Inclusion Blueprint Strategic Planning Guide to use as a tool to help plan for diversity and inclusion activities. In early 2021, the Inclusion Blueprint will be released as an assessment and law firms will be asked to submit responses to measure their actions and allow for benchmarking efforts against other firms.