ITechLaw Diversity Policy
I. ITechLaw Commitment to Diversity
ITechLaw recognizes that each person is unique. The differences between people, whether actual or perceived, can be defining characteristics that play a central role in determining an individual's opportunities, capacities, needs and vulnerabilities.
ITechLaw’s Diversity Plan, approved by the Executive Committee on June 10, 2014, is motivated by the singular objective of eliminating bias and enhancing diversity, thus promoting full and equal participation in the Association, our profession, and the legal system by all persons.
ITechLaw’s Committees and Working Groups are encouraged to actively pursue diversity goals, implement diversity plans or objectives, make diversity a priority and otherwise serve the above objective. Each year, ITechLaw seeks information about Committee and Working Group progress towards achieving diversity in leadership, membership, programming activities and other objectives.
II. Purposes of the ITechLaw Diversity Plan
This Diversity Plan is intended to lead ITechLaw to ensure full and equal participation in the Association by all eligible persons (including attorneys, in-house counsel, academics, policy makers and law students) and the elimination of bias in ITechLaw. When implemented effectively, the Diversity Plan will foster the recruitment and retention of diverse professionals in ITechLaw, and their advancement through its leadership; enhance opportunities for diverse individuals to participate in ITechLaw activities and programs; promote a culture of inclusion that attracts diverse members of the profession to ITechLaw; educate members and leaders about the benefits and importance of diversity; and, by building diversity within the Association, support ITechLaw’s efforts to promote diversity in academia, the judiciary, and public and private legal workplaces.
For the purposes of this Diversity Plan, the term “diversity” generally represents both diversity and inclusion. We define ‘diversity’ as a collection of individual attributes that together help ITechLaw pursue association / organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These include, but are not limited to, different values, attitudes, cultural perspectives, beliefs, ethnic background, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, health, socioeconomic status, skill and other specific personal characteristics, which characteristics may be identified with national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, , veteran status, and family structures. While the age and gender dimensions are present in everyone, other characteristics vary from person to person. These differences may also arise based on where people are from and where they have lived and their differences of thought and life experience. Such differences are recognized, understood and valued by ITechLaw in each specific context.
We define ‘inclusion’ as a culture that connects each member to the association; encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and leverages diversity throughout the association so that all members are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.
We define ‘gender’ as the socially constructed roles for women and men, which are often central to the way in which people define themselves and are defined by others. Gender roles are learned, changeable over time, and variable within and between cultures. Gender often defines the duties, responsibilities, constraints, opportunities and privileges of women and men in any context. Gender equality refers to the equal enjoyment of rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women, men, girls and boys. Gender equality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of each gender are respected.
By promoting respect for differences as an enriching element of our membership, ITechLaw promotes progress toward a situation of full equality. ‘Equality’ means respect for all, and includes the promotion of equal opportunities for people with different needs.
In the diversity management field, the distinction between the terms has been characterized as “Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work.™” (Andrés T. Tapia) Diversity often pertains to the numbers – insuring sufficient numbers of targeted populations are represented. Inclusion addresses how well the diverse individuals are included in all aspects of the organization. Diversity is often associated with recruitment; inclusion plays a pivotal role in retention. In summary, this Diversity Plan is designed to achieve not just diversity – the presence of lawyers and law students from all backgrounds – but inclusion as well – their full and equal participation in the Association.
III. Objectives of the Diversity Plan
The Diversity Plan sets forth numerous objectives and broad goals. In addition, certain implementation recommendations are set forth as specific actions ITechLaw is urged to undertake in the immediate future.
|A.||Require wide dissemination of the Diversity Plan within ITechLaw, and public availability of the Diversity Plan, including:|
- Membership-wide dissemination of the Diversity Plan, with a cover letter or email from the President.
- Continuous availability of the Diversity Plan through pertinent pages on the ITechLaw website.
- Distribution of the Diversity Plan, or emailing a link to the Diversity Plan, to all new ITechLaw members.
- Reference to the Diversity Plan in member solicitation materials.
- Ensuring accessibility of the Diversity Plan to members with visual or other disabilities.
|B.||Promote and track diversity within the ITechLaw’s leadership, including:|
- The Association’s Officers (Executive Committee Members).
- Committees and Working Groups, Special Committees, Task Forces, and other presidentially appointed positions.
- Board of Directors.
|C.||Promote and track diversity in ITechLaw’s and its Committee leadership nominations and leadership development processes.|
- Require diversity as an emphasis in all leadership nominations processes, including diversity among the nominations decision-makers.
- Require diversity as an emphasis in the Presidential appointments process, including diversity among the members of any appointments committee (such diversity to be measured, at least in part, by consideration of data that indicates the diversity of Association membership).
- Urge Board and Committees to emphasize diversity in leadership training and development programs.
|D.||Urge adoption by Board, Committees, Working Groups and other pertinent ITechLaw entities of entity-specific diversity plans that are consistent with the objectives of this Diversity Plan, or their review and appropriate modification of existing diversity plans.|
- Strongly encourage periodic review and updating of diversity initiatives.
- Recommend designation of Director from the Board with responsibility for ensuring implementation of diversity plans.
- Advocate wide dissemination of entity diversity initiatives in line with ITechLaw’s Diversity Plan.
- Urge the compiling of uniform statistics and information on diversity initiatives by each entity.
|E.||Promote diversity in ITechLaw membership.|
- Marketing and membership solicitation materials should be welcoming to diverse populations.
- ITechLaw should compile and disseminate uniform statistics and other information on lawyers and law students – both ITechLaw members and non-members – for each of the major diversity categories, and target the non-ITechLaw members for membership solicitations.
- ITechLaw entities are urged to engage in active marketing, recruitment and outreach efforts to affinity bars and other professional organizations, legal communities, and law schools to promote diversity.
|F.||Promote diversity in CLE and other programming, both live and virtual (webinars and podcasts).|
- Implement strategic actions to improve diversity among speakers, moderators, and attendees.
- Strive to offer program content that appeals to diverse communities.
- Explore partnering or co-sponsoring opportunities with affinity bars and other organizations that can contribute to diversity.
- Endeavor to select program venues and materials that are accessible to participants with disabilities.
- Use program locations and venues, as well as social media, to enhance opportunities for participation by diverse lawyers and law students (e.g., locations that may minimize cost barriers; venues that may increase diverse community participation, and social networking sites that may increase marketing efforts to diverse communities).
|G.||Promote diversity in ITechLaw publications (hard copy and electronic).|
- Implement strategic actions to increase diversity in ITechLaw members responsible for editorial policy and content of publications.
- Seek to include content in publications that appeals to diverse communities.
- Endeavor for content of publications to be accessible to persons with disabilities.
|G.||Promote diversity in ITechLaw publications (hard copy and electronic).|
- Diversity of speakers.
- Diversity of award recipients, if any.
- Diversity of planning committees.
|I.||Enhance the current tracking and reporting of progress in diversity efforts, including encourage greater promotion of the reporting process by ITechLaw leadership.|
|J.||ITechLaw to develop or enhance mentoring programs that target young lawyers and law students, and are designed to advance diversity within the Association.|
|K.||Promote ITechLaw’s diversity accomplishments, including the following:|
- Develop and prominently post on the ITechLaw website information about successful diversity programs and activities of the Association and its Committees, Working Groups, and other entities.
- Invest in a periodic presence in pertinent legal and diversity publications to showcase ITechLaw diversity accomplishments.
- Urge ITechLaw members and service providers, with an expertise in diversity areas, to regularly write and speak on behalf of ITechLaw.