Kimya Johnson | Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why It All Matters


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Kimya Johnson is the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and Principal of the Corporate Diversity Counseling Practice Group at Jackson Lewis. With nearly 1,000 lawyers across 63 offices, Jackson Lewis is one of the largest national law firms specializing in the practice of labor and employment law.

As the firm’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Kimya leads DEI efforts in alignment with the firm’s strategic plan and the realization of DEI as a core firm value. With almost 20 years of practice as an employment lawyer, Kimya knows how to develop and implement strategies to provide legally compliant, impactful, and organizationally integrative DEI action plans.

Among many awards, Kimya was recognized as an Influential Woman by the NAACP Philadelphia Chapter and a Wonder Woman in Business. She also received a Multicultural Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council. Kimya earned a BA in Psychology from Spelman College, an MA from the Teachers College at Columbia University, and her JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She then went on to earn a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion Management from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

In this episode…

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts are evolving, and it’s crucial that your firm keeps up. But DEI is not one-size-fits-all, and it’s not just a series of programs. So, how can your firm figure out what works — and avoid what doesn’t work — when it comes to DEI initiatives?

As a Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and an employment lawyer who helps others realize their DEI visions, Kimya Johnson knows the best practices for building and expanding DEI initiatives. She says that first, you must assess your firm's current position. Next, you need to develop a strategy that addresses the goals and vision of your firm. What are you looking to achieve, and how does your strategy advance your people and business? The final step is putting people in place who marry their professional skills with their passion for DEI.

In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman is joined by Kimya Johnson, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer and Principal of the Corporate Diversity Counseling Practice Group at Jackson Lewis. Kimya talks about changing trends in law firms, how to measure success with your DEI initiatives, and why action and authenticity are so integral to your initiative.

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