Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation and Ethisphere launch DEI maturity assessment platform

Model will help In-house counsel quantify their DEI programs

Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation and Ethisphere launch DEI maturity assessment platform

As diversity, equity, and inclusion becomes an increasingly important focus for many organizations, the Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation has teamed up with Ethisphere – a company that defines and measures corporate ethical standards – to launch a DEI maturity assessment model.

The ACC Foundation is integrating its existing DEI maturity model into Ethisphere’s assessment platform to offer an efficient way for legal teams to understand where they currently stand with DEI, benchmark against peers, and leverage resources and guidance to map improvements.

Ethisphere delivers various assessments, advice, reporting, benchmarking, and other proprietary tools to help companies embed a cycle of measurement and improvement into areas of key corporate risk, such as compliance and social and governance programs.

ACC Foundation’s DEI Maturity Model is a qualitative descriptive model that defines what it means for a target company to be in an early, intermediate, or advanced stage of maturity across three categories and 13 sub-categories.

This partnership is a major development for organizations seeking to quantify their DEI programs — which are becoming an increasingly important component of ESG reporting. DEI initiatives have been a particular challenge for corporate counsel, who often lack the tools to effectively measure the results of their own DEI programs.

“We are delighted to partner with Ethisphere to provide this innovative framework by which organizations can efficiently and effectively elevate their DEI agendas from words to action,” said ACC CEO and foundation president, Veta T. Richardson. “The more we can do to provide leaders with simple tools to assess their DEI agendas and expand them to become repeatable, scalable action plans with real results and expectations attached to them, the more progress we will make to create a truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive business environment.”

Access to the ACC Foundation DEI maturity assessment will be free to anyone, but ACC members and members of the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (an Ethisphere membership organization) will receive additional benchmarking analyses that include target scores, “red-flag” scores, and links to an advice library that includes additional observations, recommendations, and resources based on the Respondents’ maturity score.

This new assessment is scheduled to go live in late spring 2022.

“Advancing DEI within your organization needs to be measurable if it is to be meaningful,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, Ethisphere president. “By using the ACC Foundation’s DEI Maturity Model as the foundation for expanding our own assessment services, we are empowering organizations to set benchmarks and measure their progress against them when it comes to making a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.”

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