Diversity Management
Improves Firm’s Ranking in Fortune’s
“Best Companies to Work.”

Managing Demographic Diversity

Named one of Fortune’s “Best Places to Work,” MLF was dedicated to continuous improvement. They wanted to address several diversity management challenges – recruitment, retention, lack of openness in culture, the plight of women and minorities in the firm – to insure they maintained their standing on this listing.


MLF began by obtaining commitment from their leaders and partners to take a comprehensive examination of their culture, its policies, practices and diversity management efforts. They then moved through different phases of the Strategic Diversity Management Process™ as they pursued their quest for improvement.

During the Discovery Phase, they unearthed key challenges (through focus groups and interviews) within the company that were hindering talent from entering the firm, staying, and making a full contribution.

All leaders, associates and staff level employees in five offices across the country participated in Diversity Management training during the Implementation Phase. Implementation was followed by the Maturity Phase. MLF took its entire workforce forward in a deeper understanding of diversity management by:

  • holding application sessions (learning and doing);
  • employing practices that reflected visible “inclusion;”
  • using the My Diversity Manager™ across the firm;
  • equipping internal key stakeholders (HR Group, Diversity Committee Members) with the necessary skills to guide leaders and associates in its application to reinforce appropriate action and behavior.


  • The ‘Leaders-Only’ dining room – a longstanding tradition in the firm – was disbanded and opened to associates and staff.
  • MLF also increased minority representation in the Summer Intern Program, resulting in improved hiring of minorities.
  • MLF began participating in numerous community-focused efforts on diversity and diversity management.
  • There was a sharpened focus on women’s issues, which inspired development of a Women’s Forum.
  • Managers who were not “walking the talk” of the firm’s espoused values for diversity were coached, trained and developed.
  • Managers demonstrated a marked improvement in their confidence level in talking about and responding to diversity management challenges.
  • Managers also exhibited greater finesse in tough conversations and identifying and acting on business requirements.

Unsurprisingly, MLF moved up in Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work” listing.