When Ford Motor Co. general counsel Bradley Gayton raised the idea of meeting individually with the company’s outside law firms to discuss diversity and inclusion, a member of his legal team assumed that the lawyers would be booking flights to the carmaker’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

After all, this was Ford, one of the world’s largest automakers. And if Gayton, who also serves as the company’s chief administrative officer, wanted to meet with his outside counsel they would get on a plane. No questions asked.

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