While I’m tempted to write on my airplane flight adventures on the way home from the ABA Presidential Summit on Diversity (they involved a "ground hold" and a Congressional member who had the plane return to the gate), there was quite a lot of ground covered in Day 2 of the Presidential Summit that should be of interest to employers and their attorneys. (In case you missed it, the Day 1 recap can be found here.) 

The first part of Day 2 focused on recapping the various breakout sessions held the day before. Once again, I used Twitter to describe the morning with various details, which I’ll reprint here:

  • Have to abolish diversity balkanization; how? by emphasizing cross identity mentoring
  • Real desire [of companies and attorneys] to gather practices that work and publicize them; but also figure out why diverse people leave workplace
  • Need to move beyond [racial] identity discussion, on to diversity of perspectives; battles still not over but need to develop new approaches
  • Coordination seems to be theme [for diversity]: between associations, schools, clients, firms; everyone must help schools give students right skills to succeed
  • How to be accountable for diversity? Suggestions ranged from having clients dictate it (financially), or having ‘best practices’ that employers can follow

Later on in the morning, Michelle Coleman Mayes, General Counsel for Allstate, provided attendees with her secret to ensuring a diverse workforce, which I also tweeted:

  • Being a deliberate leader (in any walk of life) is critical to success not only of yourself, but also because of effect on others
  • Need to be "diverse" – not in traditional sense, but in being comprehensive in learning about others; be willing to fail too
  • Last part of success in this area is ‘be vigilant’; ideas are great, but followup (and more) is even more important

All of the materials from the conference are now available for download to everyone.  And the best part, the materials are free.  So, you too, can get the benefit of two-day meeting.

At the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, the group’s core will meet again to go over the results from the summit and continue to provide concrete solutions that the ABA and others can focus on in the short- and long-term.