New York Times, Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms to Become More Diverse:
Like other Silicon Valley giants, Facebook has faced criticism over whether its work force and board are too white and too male. Last year, the social media behemoth started a new push on diversity in hiring and retention.
Now, it is extending its efforts into another corner: the outside lawyers who represent the company in legal matters.
Facebook is requiring that women and ethnic minorities account for at least 33 percent of law firm teams working on its matters.
Numbers alone, however, are not enough, under a policy that went in effect on Saturday. Law firms must also show that they “actively identify and create clear and measurable leadership opportunities for women and minorities” when they represent the company in litigation and other legal matters. ...
For Facebook, the move on outside lawyers is happening even as the company’s efforts at improving diversity in its own work force have so far shown little progress.
According to statistics released last year, blacks and Hispanics last July accounted for only 3 percent each of senior leadership, and women made up an additional 27 percent. Hiring for the 12 months beginning with July 2015 showed something of an improvement: Of those newly recruited to senior leadership posts, 9 percent were black, 5 percent were Hispanic and 29 percent were women. ...
And when it comes to improving diversity among its outside lawyers, Facebook is part of a growing trend. A number of general counsels across corporate America are pressing their outside firms to make their teams more diverse — in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and even disability — at all levels of seniority, not just among junior associates.