Sandra Phillips Rogers says she remembers a moment when the importance of talking about diversity and inclusion became clear.
Rogers is Group Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, and also Chief Diversity Officer for Toyota Motor North America. A few years ago, she says, Toyota’s legal department brought in the company’s outside counsel for a meeting; one agenda item was impressing upon these lawyers why diversity was so important to Toyota. “After the discussion, our outside counsel’s partners came up to me and said, ‘I really get it now.’ That was an aha moment for me, about the importance of making the connection between D&I and the business,” Rogers says. “From that point forward we kept metrics to see how our law firms were progressing, and within the next year, we saw more than a 300% increase in terms of diversity of personnel working on our matters. I trace it back to that moment.”