Ultimately, what the Pathways Study reveals is that progress in diversity is being made, albeit slowly. Some survey participants have attained levels of diversity unimaginable 20 years ago. Still, much work remains. In particular, the areas of recruitment, career development, and external diversity still present significant challenges for corporate law departments.
Yet, overall, the corporate law departments that participated in this study demonstrate a deep commitment to meeting the challenges of diversity head on, and are actively working to establish programs that can give them a competitive edge. These organizations have found creative means to recruit, retain, develop and structure programs that encourage productivity, inspiration and enjoyment in the workplace.
Some departments are standouts and have gone to the next level of developing and implementing inclusive initiatives. Others continue to make progress in the areas of compliance and diversity. Ultimately, it is hoped that the findings of this study will help those corporate law departments to lay even stronger foundations for their diversity initiatives, and that, whether at the compliance, diversity or inclusion phase, those departments will find this study a useful guide in their efforts to create effective pathways to diversity.