City Bar Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Policy
Principles. The City Bar embraces a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging by cultivating a workplace that welcomes, respects and values differences. We recognize that our diversity – the many different and unique things we individually and collectively bring to work each day – contributes to building a stronger workforce and a better organization. We seek to ensure equity by providing equality of opportunity and fairness in access to information and resources; and to build a culture of inclusion that engenders a sense of belonging among our staff and members. Creating spaces, systems and practices that enable our employees, members and partners to participate fully and authentically not only benefits each individual but also enables the City Bar to more effectively execute our mission.
Goal. The City Bar strives to attract, engage, develop and support a vibrant community of diverse employees, members, and collaborators who can thrive in their own identities and thereby maximize their contributions to the success of the City Bar’s work.
Strategy Areas. The City Bar has identified several key areas of work through which we endeavor to achieve this goal, including the following:
- Leadership. The majority of the Board of Directors of the Association and the City Bar are currently individuals who self-identify as members of groups that have historically been excluded from the legal profession. We are committed to continue diversifying the leadership at the City Bar through recruitment and retention of the members of our governing board, committees, task forces, working groups and delegations, as well as those whom we recognize and honor as for their contributions to the legal profession.
- Recruitment. Opportunities for employment are written, posted and shared in a manner to attract and appeal to a diverse group of candidates with a wide range of backgrounds and different perspectives. For example, we accept equivalent experience in lieu of educational requirements wherever feasible, and we circulate postings to affinity groups and numerous job boards. Hiring managers work closely with the Human Resources Department to recruit broadly and think creatively to utilize alternative sources for qualified, but often overlooked applicants, and are directed to make every effort to interview a diverse panel of candidates before making a hiring decision.
- Workplace Culture. We are committed to maintaining a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and are encouraged to be and express their authentic selves. We train all staff about equal employment opportunity, allyship and unconscious bias disruption. Performance evaluations assess each employee’s support of and contributions to DEIB in the workplace. We are currently piloting an initiative which will offer all employees the opportunity to build community in a non-hierarchical space. We also foster inclusion and belonging in other ways, including by offering DEIB drop-in hours, supporting the use of preferred pronouns, recognizing cultural holidays, encouraging employees to help plan City Bar gatherings, and building an employee library to learn about and celebrate our different identities.
- Employee Resources and Support.
- Career Advancement and Professional Development. Managers are expected to provide staff with thoughtful feedback for career advancement and professional development, and encourage internal candidates to apply to City Bar opportunities for which they are qualified. Senior staff are also expected to promote equitable access to training and advancement opportunities throughout the workplace.
- Compensation and Benefits. Staff compensation is determined based on the individual’s role, qualifications and performance with a focus on internal equity and benchmarked using external market data where feasible while also recognizing budgetary limitations. Our Board evaluates senior management compensation every year, and those on the lower end of our pay scale receive a higher percentage salary increase each year. We offer a competitive benefits program to attract and retain the most qualified individuals from a wide array of backgrounds. Employees (whether lawyers or not) can also benefit from our Lawyer Assistance Program, which supports those who are struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), depression, anxiety and stress, as well as mental health generally. An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is also available to all employees through the City Bar’s benefits program.
- Work-Life Balance. We help our employees manage work and personal life by offering flexible work arrangements, family care leave, nearly-free health care plans for employees whose salaries are below a certain threshold, and generous paid time off, including sick leave carryover. We are sensitive to cultural differences in family commitments and elder care needs.
- Programming and Services. We prioritize programs that feature diverse speakers and honorees, and our Committee Handbook reflects that practice. Our Accessibility Policy describes the efforts we’ve made, and continue to make, to ensure that our physical and digital offerings can be enjoyed by the broadest possible audience. Our pro bono programs expand access to justice for the underserved in New York City and around the globe, who are disproportionately women and people of color; advance DEIB in the legal profession through educational programming and pipeline programs; and support New York City legal professionals who are experiencing mental health challenges or substance use disorder (SUD).
- Contracting. The City Bar’s procurement policy encourages all departments to periodically re-evaluate outside vendors, not only to drive competition and ensure that the City Bar is receiving the best possible value, but also to identify opportunities to purchase goods and services from businesses that are owned by women and people of color or that share our values and commitment to DEIB.
This policy is intended to be a fluid and evolving description of our approach to DEIB. The City Bar will continue to examine its operations, including but not limited to the above commitments, in order to identify specific areas of improvement.