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Diversity heads and corporate attorneys clash over DEI legal risks

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Fortune or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Despite the recognized benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, legal risks have heightened tensions between chief diversity officers (CDOs) and chief legal officers (CLOs)
• Legal concerns are shaping DEI initiatives, with corporations leaning towards less legally complex programs like implicit bias training over more direct diversity-based incentives

🔭 The context: Corporate attorneys are increasingly influencing DEI strategies to avoid potential legal pitfalls, often at the expense of more ambitious diversity programs
• This cautious approach stems from a desire to manage risk and comply with a growing body of regulations, including states enacting anti-DEI legislation

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Effective DEI initiatives contribute to a more inclusive and innovative business environment
• However, legal constraints may slow progress toward achieving more diverse and equitable workplaces, impacting organizational success and social equity

⏭️ What's next: The divergent perspectives of CDOs and CLOs on DEI efforts highlight the need for better alignment between these roles
• Ensuring that DEI strategies are both effective and legally sound requires closer collaboration and a shared understanding of goals and methods

💬 One quote: "It’s critical that the two factions, perhaps now more than ever, are in agreement not only on their DEI principles but also on how the company puts them into practice."

📈 One stat: According to a Littler survey, 57% of CDOs report their organizations are defining metrics for DEI progress, compared to just 19% of CLOs.

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