I recently wrote my Driving Diversity column about inclusion in the legal workplace being the cornerstone of diversity (see “Recognizing a Sham,” February 2011). Since that time, Corporate Counsel Women of Color launched its research study—“The Perspectives of Women of Color Attorneys in Corporate Legal Departments.” The data gathered from more than 800 women of color attorneys who work primarily for corporate legal departments provided great insight into what women of color attorneys want in their legal careers. Respondents were asked to rank several components of job satisfaction on a scale of one to five—one being most important and five being least important. “Being valued” was ranked No. 1. “Compensation” ranked No. 2. “Work assignments” ranked No. 3. “Flexible work assignments” and “upward mobility” were ranked second to last and least important, respectively.
Survey participants defined “being valued” as having an opportunity to be a decision maker and receiving feedback and rewards for excellent performance. Being valued also included collegiality and teamwork, trust and respect earned for solid legal advice, corporate values of diversity and inclusion, opportunities for professional growth, and autonomy in managing their work.