Baker McKenzie forms Global Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Diversity

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie announces new Global Race & Ethnicity Task Force which will work across the Firm’s 77 offices in 46 countries and in concert with our efforts at a regional level, to help implement and operationalise programs to advance racial and ethnic diversity.

The Task Force will be led by Miguel Noyola based in our Chicago office and members include Claudia Benavides (Bogota), Anna Brown (New York), Sunny Mann (London), Anna Mello (Rio de Janeiro), Yoshiaki Muto (Tokyo), Veleka Peeples-Dyer (Washington DC), Joyce Smith (San Francisco), Kate Stonestreet (London) and Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort (Munich).

The Task Force will oversee allyship and anti-racism training; sponsorship of our Black colleagues and members of other underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; and a review of our recruitment and client programs. This work will also closely be connected to our program on social mobility and diverse pipeline efforts and will help progress other important D&I programs.

Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort, Chair of the Firm’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee commented: “Advancing Racial and Ethnic diversity has always been one of our most important D&I priorities and this Task Force will strive to effect change and to really make a difference. As a Firm we are proud of what we have achieved together on gender diversity and on LGBT+ inclusion. We can and must also make similar progress on racial and ethnic diversity.

“Change starts from within, and we must all embrace the need for change together. We are encouraging everyone to learn, reflect and work to become a more active ally. We need to open our minds and our hearts to the experiences of our Black community — there is so much for us to learn, to understand, and to reflect upon before change happens.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/

Deloitte publishes its Black Action Plan

Deloitte UK has published its Black Action Plan. The plan, launched today via a firmwide webinar to 20,000 of Deloitte’s people hosted by Richard Houston, UK CEO, and Dimple Agarwal, deputy CEO and managing partner for people and purpose, is based on five key commitments that align to the firm’s global shared values of inclusion and taking care of each other.

Deloitte has responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by hosting a series of listening sessions for its people across all parts of the firm. These sessions included hearing from and understanding the experiences of Black colleagues. A firmwide working group was formed to work closely with the leadership and develop the actions.

Dimple Agarwal, deputy CEO and managing partner for people and purpose at Deloitte, said: “Over the last month we have listened, learned and started an important journey with people across the firm and with our Black colleagues. The stories, feedback and comments have brought home the difficult truth that bias and racism are widespread in our society.

“While we’ve made progress on our wider inclusion agenda over recent years, it is absolutely clear that we need to do more. Today we are going beyond listening and we are committed to the lessons we have learnt. This is a considered plan that will deliver concrete actions.”

The Black Action Plan is based on five key commitments. Each action comes with meaningful and measurable objectives that ensures Deloitte will:

  • Provide equal opportunities: Deloitte will review every step of the employee lifecycle – from how it attracts and recruits talent, through to promotion and pay processes to ensure Black and Ethnic Minority colleagues are treated fairly.
  • Focus on developing people to succeed and thrive: Deloitte will design and deliver development programmes that support its Black and Ethnic Minority colleagues to thrive and become leaders of the future.
  • Drive and evolve culture and behaviours: Recognising that achieving real and meaningful change requires everyone to think and act differently, Deloitte will implement cultural change that starts with education and understanding. This will include rolling out a mandatory training programme on ethnicity and race, and launching a Black Allies programme within the firm.
  • Influence change: Deloitte will continue to use its network to help bring about social change – working with clients, industry peers, charity partners and suppliers. This will include developing a relationship with a new Black charity partner and expanding the portfolio of Black-owned social enterprises it works with.
  • Measure and report on targets and outcomes: Deloitte is committing to 12% of Ethnic Minority and 3% of Black partners by 2025. The firm will also commit to targets across other grades to create the future pipeline. Leaders will be held accountable for these targets.

“The impact of all of these actions together will be bigger than the sum of their parts – such as race training for all of our people focusing on micro-aggressions and conscious inclusion,” added Agarwal. “Not only will it add up to a fairer and more positive overall experience for our people but for the communities in which we work.”

Deloitte’s Multicultural Network was created 14 years ago along with 10 other diversity networks. The network supports the firm’s focus on ensuring that it provides an inclusive culture that is underpinned by respect.

Nadine Dyer, co-chair of the Multicultural Network at Deloitte, said: “This action plan is an important step in the right direction. We have listened and talked, discussed and planned and now it’s time for meaningful action. All of our people across the firm will have the responsibility of taking this plan forward and bringing it to life.”

Agarwal concluded: “I want to personally thank my colleagues who have shared their stories so courageously and provided honest feedback to me. I have been humbled, saddened and shocked by what I’ve heard. We are deeply committed to this action plan and the wider commitment by the firm that we can, and will, make a change.”

Hogan Lovells associate duo named on Yahoo Finance EMpower list

Hogan Lovells associates Sengova Kailondo and Ademola Bamgbose have been named in The EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Future Leader Role Models 2020, which celebrates the achievements of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) business leaders who are helping to make the workplace a more welcoming place for ethnic minority employees.

At Hogan Lovells, London-based banking associate Sengova is an active member of the Steering Committee of our Multicultural Network, as well as our newly established employee network, Race and Ethnicity at Hogan Lovells (REAHL). REAHL focuses on the progression, retention and inclusion of BAME employees.

His efforts helped see an increase in the recruitment of employees from BAME and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Further, Sengova mentors BAME students through firm programmes in collaboration with Rare Recruitment, a specialist diversity recruitment company, and has spoken on numerous panels to hundreds of students.

He also works with Urban Synergy, an organisation that helps young people reach their full potential, where he inspires students to pursue careers in the City. In addition, he is co-treasurer of NOTICED, the UK’s first inter-firm D&I network aimed at promoting networking opportunities to celebrate diversity across the legal sector.

International arbitration associate Ademola also sits on the steering committee of both our REAHL and Multicultural Networks at Hogan Lovells. Admitted to practice in Nigeria, England and Wales, he has previously undertaken a litigation secondment at a FTSE 100 company in London and spent some time at the ICC Court of Arbitration in Paris and a leading commercial law firm in Lagos.

Ademola mentors BAME lawyers and students and takes a front seat in driving Hogan Lovells’s diversity and inclusion agenda. He co-founded Africa Arbitration, a platform designed to promote black practitioners across the globe. He is a Regional Representative (Africa) at the London Court of International Arbitration – Young International Arbitration Group, director of the Africa Arbitration Academy and Honorary Lecturer (international arbitration) at Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan.

He regularly features on leading media platforms and contributes to the discourse on diversity especially in international arbitration.

All those listed were nominated by peers and employees. Nominations were then reviewed by EMpower’s judging panel, which included head of Yahoo Finance UK Lianna Brinded. The panel scored nominees on: the influence of their role; their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside the workplace; and their business achievements.

Pinsent Masons Named Stonewall’s Scotland Diversity Champion

Pinsent Masons has been crowned Scottish Diversity Champion for a second year by equality campaign charity Stonewall.

The first law firm to be included in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index back in 2008, Pinsent Masons has consistently ranked in the Top 100 British employers. This year marks the fifth consecutive year the firm has been placed in the British top five and the second successive year as Top Employer Private Sector in the Stonewall Scotland Workplace Awards.

With more than 500 staff based at offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Pinsent Masons has been consistent in supporting LGBT issues in the workplace and out with the business.

Construction sector specialist and senior associate, Craig Macphee, collected the award on behalf of colleagues at a celebration dinner at the Virgin Money Banking Hall in Glasgow.

Craig Macphee said: “The willingness of the firm to embrace diversity and inclusion has benefits across the firm. It encourages a more inclusive atmosphere and even for those staff not directly affected by diversity issues, they will feel a parallel benefit if other colleagues are able to come to work and be genuine or authentic.”

“More often now, we are being asked by clients, and even third parties who supply services to Pinsent Masons, to share information on the approach we are taking on diversity issues, and we are happy to be able to positively contribute to the wider equality agenda.”

One initiative which has made a significant contribution to promoting diversity within Pinsent Masons has been the formation of an LGBT Allies network. Staff can privately discuss with an Ally, who are visible and known throughout the firm, matters they may feel they are unable or unwilling to raise with managers.

Craig added: “The Allies network has gained a lot of traction with staff and they are available for anyone, working at any level, who would benefit from have a confidential sounding board or is looking to seek advice on a range of issues. There is also a strong partnership across the firm with other forums such as our Disability and Wellbeing Network and Female Futures Network, because often those groups share common issues and experiences.”

Pinsent Masons’ Chair of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Katharine Hardie, said: “Diversity and inclusion is a central tenet of our business and we are delighted that Stonewall has again recognised the work being done across the firm, and particularly in Scotland, on these vitally important issues.

“Law graduates are increasingly selective when it comes to deciding which firms they will work for and resting on our laurels and past reputation will not cut it when it comes to attracting the best legal talent. Being highly regarded by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index provides potential future employees with a valuable benchmark and an assurance that diversity and inclusion is treated seriously at Pinsent Masons.”

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “Pinsent Masons are playing a huge role in improving the lives of LGBT people in Scotland, and should be very proud of their work.

“We still don’t live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff (36 per cent) hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, these organisations are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.pinsentmasons.com/