Creating a diverse and inclusive corporate culture is essential to having a successful business. Given the revelations from the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, it has become clear that discrimination and bias remain alive and well in American society, and that we all must do something to confront these issues head-on. That leaves most organizational leaders with at least two questions: “What should we do?” and “How should we do it?” In this presentation, Professor Veronica Root Martinez, Esq. will demonstrate the importance of creating a foundation of ethical inclusion upon which to build one’s larger diversity and inclusion efforts. For those truly committed to transforming their workplaces into more inclusive environments, it is not enough to ensure rote compliance with legal and regulatory mandates. Instead, those tasked with leading an organization will need to think critically about how to move from a legal or business frame of thinking through these issues and refocus their efforts on creating a more ethical corporate culture that, at its very core, values inclusion.
Veronica Root Martinez, Esq. is the Robert & Marion Short Scholar Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School where she directs the Program on Ethics, Compliance & Inclusion. Martinez both researches and writes about the ways in which organizations should prevent and confront misconduct and discrimination within their workforces and contracting relationships. Drawing on scholarship from the areas of professional ethics, corporate governance, workplace law, corporate social responsibility, and organizational behavior, she investigates institutional mechanisms that firms can utilize to (i) improve long-term compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, (ii) promote ethical norms within organizational environments, and (iii) encourage the development of diversity and inclusion norms. She is one of the nation’s foremost experts on how ethics and inclusion intersect within firms and the importance of building an ethical floor to build a firm’s diversity and inclusion architecture. Martinez has published over a dozen articles in leading law journals, including, among others, the Columbia Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and The University of Chicago Law Review Online.