The Real Business Case:
Diversity and Inclusion is More Than Numbers

Arin N. Reeves
October 2009

Diversity and inclusion are about people.  But, you wouldn’t know that if you listened to the conversations on diversity in the legal profession.  You will hear about diversity statistics, diverse hires, the limited availability of diverse talent, and, of course, the almighty “business case” for diversity.

The shift from people to numbers is not only antithetical to diversity and inclusion, but the focus on the “business case,” in my estimation, has interrupted our ability to integrate inclusion as a key component of our professional and ethical responsibilities to each other, to our clients, and to the profession.

Think Smarter. Lead Better.

  • Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.

    Leo Tolstoy
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity. They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover
  • To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.

    Tony Robbins
  • Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.

    Walter Lippmann
  • Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.

    Mahatma Gandhi
  • When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free.

    Charles Evan Hughes
  • Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.

    Malcolm Forbes
  • America has believed that in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress. It acted on this belief; it has advanced human happiness, and it has prospered.

    Louis D. Brandeis
  • Honest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity.They are the vital process of policy among free men.

    Herbert Hoover
  • Diversity creates dimension in the world.

    Elizabeth Ann Lawless
  • It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.

    Albert Einstein
  • Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Difference of opinion is helpful in religion.

    Thomas Jefferson
  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.

    Isaac Asimov
  • The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation -- or a relationship.

    Deborah Tannen
  • One must even beware of too much certainty that the answer to life's problems can only be found in one way and that all must agree to search for light in the same way and cannot find it in any other way.

    Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.

    Madame De Stael
  • There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.

    Michel de Montaigne
  • Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.

    Theodore Roosevelt
  • The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Controversial' as we all know, is often a euphemism for 'interesting and intelligent.

    Kevin Smith
  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.

    Woodrow Wilson
  • In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

    Audre Lorde
  • Differences challenge assumptions.

    Anne Wilson Schaef
  • The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.

    Albert Einstein
  • Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.

    James Surowiecki
  • Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.

    Mikhail Gorbachev