Harrison discusses his experience of diversity challenges in law firms and the discrimination faced by people from diverse backgrounds.
He shares advice on how to handle discrimination and suggests reporting the incidents to the employer.
Harrison highlights the positive changes made in society towards promoting diversity and inclusion.
He suggests reviewing his book on diversity in law firms available on the BCG website.
The Q&A clip sheds light on the challenges faced by Muslim attorneys and the importance of promoting diversity in the workplace.
I'm sorry that happened to you. I don't think that is a good thing. As someone not in your situation, it's difficult for me to comment on your face. I've never had anything that happened to me due to religion or my sex and stuff.
Unfortunately, someone else may be the best person to comment on it. But what I will tell you, I have written a book about diversity inside law firms and some of the challenges that people from diverse backgrounds have faced. It's on the website of BCG so it might be helpful; you might enjoy reviewing it.
I spent several months writing about this, and again, I can't identify as a white male near the things you've gone through. I'm sorry, but it would be nice if I had experienced some things, but I have experienced some of the things you're mentioning. I often would say hi to partners or Good Morning or SMILE at people when I was young, and they wouldn't acknowledge me.
I would often take it personally, and they must pay more attention. It's just how it works. There's a lot of it, depending on where you're at, but if you're in a big city, people are very impersonal. I wouldn't take it personally. You may, but the other thing I would say is because you're a temporary attorney, you're not a full-time associate, and so forth.
Sometimes there is some discrimination against people that aren't in permanent roles as opposed to contract roles, regardless of your background. So I would also say that, and I don't know that a law firm would blackball you in your career for that. But if you didn't report any of this again, I can't tell you whether or not that was the right or wrong thing to do.
But one thing I would say that is just, it may be helpful is there are a lot of law firms to hire people from different backgrounds. Whether the race or religious affiliations, there is a lot of pressure because they want the law firms to reflect what's going on in society.
Hollywood, for example, has done very well with that. You'll notice they've started putting anytime if you watch television shows. In most shows, there's a lot of diversity now. And then we'll start automatically putting, a lot of times, people in that are diverse into authority roles, so they're if you choose a judge or who a, who the boss is or, and most shows, they'll always try to have a lot of diversity there and lean on the side of diversity because they want to promote that message that people in power are of diverse backgrounds.
And so I think societies are changing and working very hard. And I think that I don't want to underscore what you're saying, but I think. There is there, there is. I think the tide is turning in or not in favor, but towards making that sort of thing more favorable. So I think, but I would say I certainly experienced a lot of slights like you're talking about, and I think everyone did when I was practicing law.
I think I've seen wholly inappropriate things, and everyone has. And so you just have. Understand that not every environment's perfect. In most cases, if you are having a hard time and horrible things are done, you need to consider ways to address them with the employer hopefully; again, I apologize it happened to you.
And again, this is a sensitive topic for many people, and I can certainly understand why. And there, there is prejudice on all levels of society, but there's. Also, I think there's a pretty concerted effort to fix much of that. But I'm not an expert in this, and I'm certainly not.
Someone that can effectively comment on the challenges that a Muslim woman faces because I'm not over that background, and it would be almost paternalistic and selfish of me to do. I hope that the advice I give helps. I would just say that the most important thing is to do your best; hopefully, this stuff won't keep happening.
I do think that there are a lot of positive changes that have been made.