​Beware the Pitfalls of Well-Intentioned DEI Programs

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Recorded On: 05/06/2022

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This is the recording of the 2022 ASA Staffing Law Conference session: Beware the Pitfalls of Well-Intentioned DEI Programs.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs are top-of-mind for staffing firms as they seek to create more inclusive workplaces and attract talent in a tight labor market, but employers may unintentionally violate antidiscrimination laws as they aim to diversify their workforces and develop internal programs. Staffing firms may also struggle in handling discriminatory client requests made in the name of diversity. Hear from a panel of DEI legal specialists who have the expertise to help guide your firm through this tricky subject.

Joanna S. Monroe, Esq.

Co-managing partner

Staffing GC

Founder and co-managing partner of Staffing GC, Monroe is a legal staffing executive and trusted c-suite adviser with two decades of experience helping grow revenue and profit while reducing risk and expense. She recently retired as chief compliance and risk officer of TrueBlue. Her areas of expertise are in business strategy, regulatory compliance, risk management, contractual negotiations, outside counsel management, government affairs, and human resources, with proven success in aligning legal expertise with organizational needs for achieving business growth. Monroe’s practical, solutions-focused advice enables leaders to take appropriate risks to unleash business growth.

​Vanessa Williams, Esq.

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary


As senior vice president and general counsel for Kelly, Williams oversees the legal and corporate security teams and manages outside counsel relationships. She joined Kelly in 2020 with 24 years of senior legal experience at companies in the data science and information industries. She manages regulatory and legal compliance for Kelly, directs strategic legal initiatives, and provides senior management with actionable counsel. With extensive experience in commercial transactions, litigation management, data privacy, international law, and contract management, Williams offers counsel grounded in the rule of law and nurtured with practicality and innovation. She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the State Bar of Michigan Foundation, former chair of the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly, and past president of the Association of Defense Trial Counsel. Williams is recipient of the Crain’s General & In-House Counsel Award for large private companies. In 2021, she was named to the EMpower Ethnic Minority Executives list, initiated by diversity and inclusion membership organization Involve.


Recording: Beware the Pitfalls of Well-Intentioned DEI Programs
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Open to view video.