Diversity: Coca-Cola’s law department and its best-in-class evaluation of “partner” firms

Geoff Kelly, Coca-Cola’s general counsel, describes one step taken by his legal department does, being a 2009 Employers of Choice winner cited in Diversity & the Bar, Vol. 11, Nov./Dec. 2009 at 12. Each year the department sends a questionnaire to its 32 US “partner” firms that asks them to describe “established systems for measuring diversity progress and accountability among senior management at the firms.”

What particularly interests me about this process is that the department evaluates the responses against the best-in-class practices in each area. The firm with the highest aggregate score is awarded the “Living the Values” award.

Do they normalize responses by size of firm, since a larger firm can support more practices? Where do they derive their best-in-class standards? The evaluation pool includes only the firms that Coca-Cola has selected as its key firms and the brief mention does not explain whether the standards are derived only from the best of THAT class. Do they describe for the firms their measuring posts?

What an opportunity for several law departments to use the same questionnaire and evaluation method and share their results! Another opportunity for collective action (See my post of June 10, 2009: joint collaborations by legal departments with 18 references.).

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