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Norton Rose Fulbright announces 2021 Global Charitable Initiative

Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2021 Global Charitable Initiative (GCI) will focus on fighting systemic racism and championing social justice worldwide. This important and timely cause was selected by the firm’s newly appointed Global and US Chair Shauna Clark, the first woman of colour to be chair of an “Am Law 200” firm.

The aim of the initiative will be to raise awareness as to the importance of fighting racism and championing social justice in business, in local communities and as individuals through fundraising, pro bono and volunteering opportunities with charities focused on these causes. Where possible, the firm will join with like-minded clients in these activities to expand its reach.

“I would like 2021 to be remembered as a year of action by the whole firm, uniting to use our time and our talents and our passion to fight racism and champion social justice,” Shauna said. “Our aim is that this initiative will leave a lasting legacy, inspiring our people to support antiracism and social justice causes and to commit to antiracism and social justice volunteering, fundraising and pro bono activities in their local communities.”

In late 2021, lawyers and support personnel firm-wide will be invited to participate in a global activity day. Likewise, each region or jurisdiction will be encouraged to interpret the themes of fighting racism and championing social justice in a way that resonates with their local community and culture, identifying an organisation active in this cause with which to partner in 2021.

“As a global law firm, we can use our voices to stand up for those who don’t have a voice, who don’t have access, who don’t have opportunities,” Shauna said.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Charitable Initiatives are proposed and sponsored by a different region each year. Each region is asked to choose a cause which resonates with the firm globally, motivating lawyers and other personnel to participate and take action.

Past initiatives have included promoting the building of environmentally sustainable communities, fighting hunger and reducing food waste, supporting the Special Olympics and helping to build a facility for Menzi Children’s Home in South Africa.

Find out more about the firm’s commitment to corporate responsibility and diversity and inclusion.

Milton Cheng joins 70 Global CEOs in Catalyst For Change initiative

Baker McKenzie Global Chair, Milton Cheng has reinforced the commitment of the leading global law firm to join Catalyst’s mission to elevate women in leadership roles.

Milton is one of 70+ CEOs involved in the Catalyst For Change initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce. Catalyst’s 2020 report, Towards a More Equitable Future, found that Catalyst For Change companies are addressing challenges in the representation of marginalised groups by building a strong foundation at the manager level.

The Catalyst CEO Champions For Change are using their voices to advance women across the leadership pipeline. The 2020 report identifies ways global companies can collect data on ethnicity and race in their organisations, as well as highlighting the latest statistics for women’s representation in the global leadership pipeline. It also explores ways to measure the representation of women who identify with underrepresented ethnic and racial groups and provides a three-step plan to help organisations accelerate their journey toward equity:

  • Step 1: Get educated on intersectionality.
  • Step 2: Establish a system for collecting reliable data on race and ethnicity.
  • Step 3: Start the conversation about racism.

You can read the full report here.

Milton Cheng, Baker McKenzie Global Chair commented; “Twenty years after electing the first female Chair of any global law firm, we are proud to say that once again we are leading the way in the legal sector. To demonstrate our commitment to being inclusive, we have set global aspirational targets of 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men or non-binary persons) by 2025. This target applies to Partners, senior business professionals, firm committee leadership and candidate pools for recruitment.”

“Women, and particularly women of colour, continue to face entrenched barriers to advancement in companies across the world, but it’s important that Catalyst CEO Champions For Change companies continue to demonstrate collective progress,” said Catalyst President & CEO Lorraine Hariton. “We know more work needs to be done, but the data show positive gains, and we’re proud to partner with these CEOs in this effort.”

This pledge follows Baker McKenzie’s earlier commitment with Catalyst in 2020. The Firm became one of 56 companies and organisations who have joined Catalyst’s Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance (GDKA) to support the adoption and use of a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will measure gender and diversity.

Hogan Lovells commits to disability inclusion

Hogan Lovells has marked the International Day of People with Disabilities by announcing that it has become a member of The Valuable 500 – the largest network of global CEOs dedicated to diversity.

As a member of The Valuable 500 the firm commits to drive change and embed disability inclusion throughout the business. Delivering on its commitment to diversity and inclusion and responsible business is a strategic priority for Hogan Lovells, with ability inclusion a core focus the firm recognises is crucial to achieving the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

CEO Miguel Zaldivar said: “Inclusion of individuals with different abilities is a key focus of our firm. We have had a longstanding commitment to people of different abilities across the globe, and we are excited that our participation in The Valuable 500 will accelerate our progress. We want our people of all abilities to understand that Hogan Lovells is a place where they belong and can thrive.”

The firm has also become a signatory to the American Bar Association Pledge for Change: Disability Diversity in the Legal Profession, further affirming its commitment to disability diversity. Pledge signatories recognise that diversity is in the best interests of their organisation, the legal profession as a whole, and the clients they serve. By becoming a signatory Hogan Lovells commits to encouraging others in the legal industry to follow suit.

In the UK, Hogan Lovells is a Disability Confident Committed employer, and has a long-standing relationship with the British Paralympic Association, being a Gold Partner and the Official Legal Services Provider. In addition, the firm supports British para-sport through its Nicholas Cheffings Para Athletes Bursary and investment in their ambassador and Paralympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion, Ollie Hynd MBE.

Hogan Lovells also provides pro bono legal advice to clients including GB SnowSport, Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation, UK Boccia Federation, the International Boccia Federation, the International Paralympic Committee, and the Japanese Para-Sports Association.

In the run-up to the re-scheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games, the firm is sponsoring the Japan Riding Association for the Disabled, working in partnership to raise awareness in Japan of people with disabilities and the need for more inclusion of the disabled in sport. The firm’s sponsorship will provide para equestrian athletes with additional support as they pursue their sport.

Hogan Lovells also advises Movements for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore on a range of matters, and has created an internship program recognised by The Luxembourg Diversity Charter, and in cooperation with Ligue HMC, to change perceptions of intellectual disability by welcoming interns in office support roles for an eight week period.

Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500, commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Hogan Lovells on board in the midst of the continuing pandemic. We believe in collaboration rather than competition and the multiplier effect of the collective impact of 500 leading CEOs and brands. I am confident that over the next decade, if the business community pulls together and stands united in ensuring disability inclusion is a central part of their leadership agenda, we can truly make a difference globally across the next decade.”

Women employed in automotive seek more promotion opportunities

Deloitte’s Women in Automotive Industry research was conducted between June and September 2020 and is based on the responses of 110 women working in the automotive industry. Respondents came from organisations across the value chain in the UK, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, dealers, and finance companies, and their roles ranged from apprentices through to senior leaders.

Key findings:

  • 68% of women have seen a positive change in the automotive industry’s attitude towards women employees in the last five years; but
  • Half of women feel unprepared to navigate the future of the industry, and this is particularly prevalent in traditional back office functions;
  • 40% would choose a different industry if they could go back; and 50% of women would leave the automotive industry altogether due to lack of promotion opportunities, organisational cultural norms, poor work-life balance and an uncertain industry future;
  • 90% of women feel they are under-represented in leadership positions, with 42% believing an industry bias towards men still exists for leadership positions, driven by organisational cultural norms; and
  • 57% of women do not see a career path to get to the level they want in the auto industry.

Sarah Noble, Deloitte automotive director and founder of Women at the Wheel UK: “The long-term success of any company requires a strong focus on people, yet the automotive industry remains behind many other industries when it comes to gender diversity. Women currently only represent 20 per cent of the automotive workforce, dropping below ten per cent at executive level.

“Our research found that the majority of women have seen positive changes in attitudes towards female employees over the last five years. However, under-representation at a leadership level is still strongly felt. In a predominantly male industry with few female role models at the top, male allies remain critical to the success of gender diversity initiatives.

“Likewise, we know that a lack of promotional opportunities, poor work-life balance and organisational cultural norms are the top factors that would cause a female employee to leave the automotive industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trends that were already emerging: normalising flexible working and bringing greater awareness around caring responsibilities. As automotive companies embrace these changes on a more permanent basis, it is also clear that gender diversity can also help gain competitive advantage. Focussing on recruitment, retention and opportunity will be key to making long-term change possible.”

Duane Morris receive Women’s Impact Network for Success awards

The Duane Morris Women’s Impact Network for Success (WINS) has honoured three attorneys for their efforts to advance women in the legal profession. Manita Rawat, managing partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley office, and Chicago partner Lisa T. Scruggs received the Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award. Philadelphia partner Linda B. Hollinshead received the Margery Reed Professional Excellence Award. Rawat, Scruggs and Hollinshead received the awards at Duane Morris’ virtual annual firmwide meeting.

The Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award recognises significant contributions, including professional development, leadership and mentoring, made by a lawyer to women in the legal profession. The award is named in honour of the late Cheryl Blackwell Bryson, a Duane Morris partner in Chicago who died in January 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Bryson was a leader in many significant civic and community causes, and she was repeatedly honoured throughout her career as a major pioneer, both as a female lawyer and as a lawyer of colour.

Likewise, Margery Reed spent her entire professional career as an attorney at Duane Morris, including 24 years as a partner of the firm. As demonstrated by her numerous awards, including her admission as a fellow in the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy, Reed was repeatedly recognised as one of the best commercial bankruptcy lawyers in the country. A consummate partner, Reed was incomparably selfless in giving of her time and talents to assist her colleagues and mentor junior lawyers. She was a true professional in every sense, and her unwavering commitment to her clients and colleagues, the firm and the profession of law is the reason this award for professional excellence is given in her name.

Despite her extremely busy schedule, Manita Rawat was chosen for going out of her way to work with young female lawyers and serve as a mentor to them in terms of “work product, marketing and what it means to be a good firm citizen.” She is committed to having open and honest discussions with young attorneys related to practice and personal issues.

Rawat is the managing partner of the firm’s Silicon Valley office and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. She counsels clients on a variety of issues related to intellectual property, working primarily with software, mechanical and aerospace technologies. Rawat also has significant experience with patent office post grant proceedings (including inter-parts review and re-examination). She also has substantial experience in supporting intellectual property issues related to corporate deals, such as mergers and acquisitions and investment funding. Rawat also assists clients in patent licensing and transactional matters, including structuring, negotiating and drafting agreements. She has significant experience with providing technical support on patent litigation matters at various stages of a case as well. In 2020, Rawat was honoured with a Women of Influence Award from Silicon Valley Business Journal. She is a member of the firm’s governing Partners Board and serves on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Lisa T. Scruggs was chosen for her dedication to mentoring young female attorneys. “In a profession that can often be dominated by competitiveness and egos, she goes out of her way to provide kind leadership.”

A core member of the Education Industry group at Duane Morris, Scruggs provides litigation and counselling services for education and school reform organisations, including individual charter and private schools, early childhood centres, charter school networks, charter and education management organisations, school districts and other education non-profit and for-profit organisations and service providers. She has handled a wide range of litigation, regulatory and policy matters for clients relating to new school development, teacher evaluation, credentialing and certification reforms, public/private education ventures, virtual education/remote learning, school finance and parent and student civil rights. Scruggs has been recognised by Crain’s Chicago Business on its listing of Notable Minorities in Law (2019) and as an Illinois Super Lawyer (Business Litigation and Education Law) for eight years running. She was awarded the firm’s Pro Bono Leadership Award for her work handling a legal challenge to the school funding system in Illinois and is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, joining a cohort of leaders who are “reimagining America’s public schools.”

Although employment issues surrounding COVID-19 have left Linda B. Hollinshead incredibly busy, she is still taking the time to support her colleagues during these unexpected times. She was chosen for the “advice, resources and humour she has contributed to fellow parents these past few months while coping with the new normal.”

Hollinshead practices in the area of employment law. She provides training and counselling to employers throughout the country on a variety of subjects, including monitoring employee attendance, FMLA compliance, medical and religious accommodations, leaves of absence policies, harassment and discrimination prevention, responding to harassment and discrimination claims, FLSA and wage and hour compliance, including employee misclassification, diversity and inclusion, termination of employees, hiring practices, performance appraisals and performance management. Hollinshead also advises public accommodations as well as recipients of federal financial assistance on program accessibility and other compliance obligations. She advises clients in numerous industries, including colleges and universities, manufacturing and retail companies, hospitals and other healthcare organisations, technology companies, financial services organisations, energy companies and not-for-profit entities. Hollinshead is also a member of the firm’s Cannabis Industry Group. She also assists employers by drafting employees policies and handbooks, confidentiality and restrictive covenant agreements, employment agreements, termination and severance agreements as well as independent contractor agreements. Hollinshead is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Strategy Team.

Kirkland Sponsors GLAAD Spirit Day

Kirkland is proud to sponsor GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day for the eighth year in a row. GLAAD is the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organisation. Spirit Day, which takes place this year on October 15, 2020, is the largest and most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world that aims to accelerate the acceptance of LGBTQ youth. Spirit Day inspires millions of people around the world to wear purple or “go purple” online in a unified stance against bullying and to show their support for LGBTQ youth.

Kirkland has been a proud official international sponsor of Spirit Day since 2013. Each year, the Firm demonstrates its support on Spirit Day by encouraging Kirkland employees worldwide to wear purple, celebrate diversity and inclusion, and continue important conversations within the Firm, the legal profession and the community. Kirkland also contributes to GLAAD’s Spirit Day Fund, which supports GLAAD’s year-round efforts to combat bullying, protect LGBTQ youth and garner participation in Sprit Day each October.

“GLAAD Spirit Day promotes some of the most important values in our society today — equality, inclusion and opportunity for all,” said Diversity & Inclusion Committee co-chair Ranesh Ramanathan. “Our attorneys and staff are proud to once again demonstrate our support for LGBTQ youth through participation in this important initiative.”