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Equity at Work: Fulfilling Its Promise through Process

White & Case is a proud research sponsor of a new in-depth study on building equity in the corporate world published by COQUAL

The study titled "Equity at Work: Fulfilling Its Promise through Process" takes an in-depth look at the "E" in DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) and examines key processes that determine professionals’ career outcomes: (i) performance evaluations, (ii) promotions, and (iii) pay. The research uncovers stereotypes, colorism and a "Fatherhood Bonus" in the above processes. Some of the findings include:

  • Performance Evaluations – Based on the study, lawyers from underrepresented groups say they were evaluated on different criteria than their peers. Asian professionals are the least likely of any group to feel their evaluations reflect their contributions.
  • Promotions – While most HR practitioners focus on hiring, the study reveals that promotions is the biggest area of inequity within their organizations. 
  • Pay – Underrepresented professionals and individuals from a lower social class background are more likely to say their pay is lower than that of their peers. COQUAL's research also finds a "fatherhood bonus." Men with children are more likely than men without children to say their manager advocates for their pay increases. Women saw no such difference based on parental status.

Arlene Arin Hahn, Partner and Chair of the Global Diversity Initiative at White & Case, commented on the topic of equity at workplace:
"When industry data shows a staggering drop-off of talent in management and leadership for women, for example, is it because they are not good enough? Not capable? No—organizations often have not given them the opportunities. It's the responsibility of the organization to give them those opportunities now."

COQUAL is a global nonprofit think tank and advisory group addressing bias and uncover barriers to advancement for underrepresented populations in the workplace. To learn more about COQUAL and the study, please visit the COQUAL website.