A Dialogue: Comfort and Opportunity

In a recent luncheon conversation, I had the impact we aim for in our diversity training. I was speaking with an attorney about the disappointing pace of achieving gender diversity in the legal profession. He asked me why I think law firms have not been more successful in promoting and retaining women at the partnership and leadership levels. I noted that McKinsey & Co. says the reason is unacknowledged “mindsets.” Asked for an example, I talked about what I call the “comfort principle.” He left our lunch aware of how important comfort is in getting opportunities at work. Awareness of this and other “mindsets” enables us to do something about them, lowering obstacles to diversity in the workplace.