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Diversity Legal Outlook 2024

Key diversity, equity and inclusion topics to prepare for in 2024

For global employers, the pace of change at which the diversity, equity and inclusion landscape evolves can be challenging, as they seek to develop meaningful global strategies which reflect business objectives whilst also being compliant with local laws and reflecting differing regional areas of focus.

In our Diversity Legal Outlook 2024, we look ahead to some of the key developments and issues across diversity, equity and inclusion impacting global employers in the coming years. These include a nutshell analysis of the differing areas of focus across key jurisdictions, managing the grey area between lawful positive action and unlawful positive discrimination, the role of the regulator in diversity and inclusion, the momentum of social mobility, and navigating threats and opportunities for diversity and inclusion with AI.

Explore our publication to find out more on what to look out for in the year ahead and how best to prepare.

Key themes

Explore the topics in the publication


DEI: Where now? Navigating a safe legal path in challenging times

For any diversity, equity and inclusion strategy to be truly global but remain meaningful, tailored, and effective, organisations must understand the culture, laws and political landscape of each region in which they operate, whilst navigating the evolving societal expectations and trends, and differing regional areas of focus.

In this article, we provide a nutshell analysis of the primary areas of focus on diversity, equity and inclusion across key jurisdictions, and the key legal and regulatory developments for employers to be aware of in 2024 and beyond.

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Positive action vs positive discrimination

Many organisations recognise the role that proportionate positive action measures can play in preventing or remedying workplace discrimination and fostering an inclusive culture. However, the line between what amounts to lawful positive action and unlawful positive discrimination is not always clear, and there are many legal issues for global employers to consider as the political landscape and commercial appetite for employers taking positive action evolves.

In this article, we consider the differing legal frameworks for employers to take positive action, and reflect on the evolving landscape for employers to be aware of in light of recent legal developments. 

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DEI and the role of the regulator

Diversity and inclusion are increasingly becoming a regulatory concern, as regulators recognise that good diversity and inclusion practices promote healthy cultures, sound risk management, reduce groupthink and facilitate better decision making. 

In 2023 we saw an increased regulatory focus on diversity and inclusion. We expect this will continue into 2024 and beyond. But what role does a regulator have in supervising and enforcing an organisation’s diversity strategy and objectives? Is it appropriate for a regulator to incorporate diversity and inclusion into its supervisory and enforcement frameworks? And how do global organisations deliver their diversity strategies whilst meeting various regulatory expectations, legal obligations, and societal pressures?

In this article, we reflect on the role of the regulator in this space, and the evolving regulatory landscape governing diversity, equity and inclusion.

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The momentum of social mobility

Employers are increasingly recognising the need for workplace diversity initiatives to cover socio-economic background as well as other diversity strands. However, there are unique characteristics of social mobility which make it a particularly challenging issue to address. 

In this article we look at developments made in this area across key jurisdictions in 2023, which have paved the way for further progress in 2024.

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AI: Navigating threats and opportunities for DEI

The rapid advancement of AI has created new opportunities but also challenges for organisations looking to foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Throughout the employment lifecycle, the power of AI can be harnessed to minimise human bias and promote fairness. However, outputs generated by AI rather than by humans does not guarantee the absence of bias or discrimination, and without the appropriate guardrails in place, AI can have a chilling effect on diversity, equity and inclusion.

In this article, we reflect on some the key developments in this area across different jurisdictions which employers should be mindful of as they continue to develop and benefit from such technologies in the workplace.

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