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Celebrating five consecutive years as one of BC’s Top Employers

Dentons has been recognised as one of BC’s Top Employers for the fifth consecutive year, reinforcing its status as an employer of choice for exceptional talent. Dentons is proud to have created an environment where its people can develop new skills, create a unique career path, explore and be supported in leadership opportunities, and collaborate with team members across its global platform, in addition to having a positive impact in local communities.

BC’s Top Employers is an annual competition organised by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This special designation recognises British Columbia employers who lead their industries in offering outstanding places to work.

“Being recognised as one of BC’s Top Employers for five consecutive years is a huge accomplishment. Our continued success is a result of the commitment, enthusiasm and support for each of our team members,” said John Sandrelli, managing partner of Dentons’ Vancouver office. “We are proud to celebrate 40 years of being a part of the Vancouver community. Providing exceptional client service, taking action to improve our communities and supporting the success of both global clients and local businesses is what makes Dentons a great place to grow a career.”

The focus on its people is just one of the ways that Dentons is doing things differently. The diverse and unique strengths of Dentons’ exceptional talent help define its forward-thinking and inclusive culture. Here are some of the ways Dentons has come together to build the law firm of the future in Vancouver:

  • Participate in a number of activities that promote a healthy lifestyle, including the Rotary Club of Vancouver Bike-A-Thon, Ride to Conquer Cancer, Lawn Bowling, the annual Sun Run and a Healthy Habits Walking Club.
  • Help lead the fight for justice, opportunity and equality in our communities through pro bono and philanthropic commitments, including a week-long campaign in support of the United Way of the Lower Mainland, and pro bono services to the Vancouver Pride Society, assisting with the transition of their annual Pride Parade to VanVirtualPride, an online week-long celebration due to COVID-19.
  • Take time to celebrate success and recognise accomplishments as one team through team celebrations, social events and barbeques.
  • Advance shared commitment of building an inclusive firm by developing diverse learning programs and community-focused initiatives, such as an Indigenous business student summer placement program in collaboration with a client.
  • Foster an eco-conscious environment that promotes wellness though sustainable practices in the workplace through its grassroots Workplace Improvement Sustainability and Health (WISH) Committee, like working with local restaurants to enable Dentons’ people to use reusable containers in lieu of using paper, Styrofoam or plastic to-go lunch boxes.

To learn more about our Vancouver office, career opportunities and how we are connecting BC to the world, visit our Dentons – Vancouver page.

Pinsent Masons named a top ten family friendly employer

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has been named as one of the top ten family friendly employers in the UK by work life balance charity, Working Families.

It is the fourth year in a row that Pinsent Masons has been listed in the top ten, after securing a top ten place for the first time in 2017.

Work life balance charity, Working Families, benchmarks organisations across the UK that lead the way in building family friendly and flexible workplaces. Public, private and third sector businesses compete annually to gain a place on the list.

“Being named a top ten family friendly employer by Working families for the fourth year in a row is testament to the firm’s commitment to providing a working environment and practices that are conducive to working parents and carers.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic seeing the majority of our people working from home and adapting to this, our working parents and carers have also had the additional challenge of looking after and, in some cases, educating their children too. Our ability to exercise our agile and flexible approach has never been more important but we recognise that this is a journey and there is more work to be done.” Kate Fergusson, Head of Responsible Business

Central to this has been the firm’s focus on agile working, enabling employees to flex their time to accommodate for family commitments when needed, which has been particularly vital during lockdown. In addition, they encourage and promote shared parental leave and use some of their male lawyers as role models for this.

Over the last year, the firm has worked closely with their Family Support Network and Mental Health Champions to run an extensive programme to help working parents and carers support their children’s mental health. In addition, throughout the COVID-19 lockdown they have provided webinars and additional support around the mental health and wellbeing challenges faced by their people.

The firm is now focused on how best to supporting working parents and carers as people begin to return to offices and children return to school.

Research finds only 21% of applicants for top roles were women

Women made up just 21% of employees being put forward for senior roles at financial services firms last year, compared to 79% who were men, says Pinsent Masons, the multinational law firm.

Pinsent Masons says the limited number of women taking senior management roles shows there has been little progress in hiring and promoting more women at senior levels within financial services. This is despite the broad consensus about the importance of improving gender diversity in financial services.

A review of 4,044 individuals taking up senior roles at financial services firms last year (year-end March 31) shows that approximately 833 were women and 3,211 were men. This data refers to all financial services firms, including banks, insurers, fund managers, hedge funds and private equity funds.

Elizabeth Budd, Partner at Pinsent Masons, says: “More and more financial services firms are taking steps to improve gender diversity at top levels but the pace of change is still very slow.”

“Given the attention that gender diversity has been given in recent years, I expect many firms will be disappointed that this is not being reflected in the number of women put forward for senior roles.”

One of the reasons often given for the low number of women in senior roles in financial services is that the industry is less friendly towards women who wish to work more flexible hours, or from home, due to childcare requirements.

Commenting on this, Elizabeth Budd said: “The coronavirus crisis has upended working practices, organisational and operational structures. As a result, women will be hoping that City employers are going to be much more receptive to flexible working requests and this won’t be used as an excuse for the low levels of women at senior levels.”

Pinsent Masons adds that firms need to be committed to making the cultural changes that allow for women to excel in financial services. A growing number of firms are signing up to the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter in order to deliver these cultural changes.

Signatories of the Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter pledge to do the following:

  • Have a senior executive personally responsible for diversity and inclusion
  • Set internal targets for senior-level gender diversity
  • Publish progress against these targets annually
  • Have an intention to ensure the pay of senior executives is tied to progress against these targets

A recent analysis of 187 Women in Finance signatories found 64% had increased the proportion of women in senior roles last year while 12% had maintained the same level of representation.

Previous research from Pinsent Masons showed that in 2018/19 women represented 26% of individuals put forward for senior roles, compared to 71% for men. However, this year’s figures are not directly comparable as the latest figures includes d data on a wider range of financial services businesses.

Kim Askew joins DLA Piper’s Employment practice in Dallas

DLA Piper announced today that Kim Askew has joined the firm’s Employment practice as a partner in the Dallas office.

Askew represents clients in significant employment matters involving claims of race, disability, gender and age discrimination and sexual harassment, as well as in complex commercial disputes including business torts, trade secrets, non-compete, and non-solicitation and employment agreements.

“Kim is widely regarded as one of the top employment and commercial litigators in Texas, and her addition to the firm bolsters our Employment team and supports our goal of bringing on partners with deep experience in handling high-profile matters of consequence, together with a strong track record of professionalism and success,” said Brian Kaplan, chair of DLA Piper’s US Employment practice and co-chair of the global Employment practice. “She has been recognised repeatedly for her accomplishments and distinguished service to the legal profession and we couldn’t be happier that Kim has chosen to join our team.”

“As we continue to expand our presence in Dallas, Kim will play a key role in allowing us to increase our service offerings and better respond to the needs of clients,” said Marc Katz, managing partner of the firm’s Dallas office. “She is well-known as an involved and enthusiastic leader in the legal and business communities in Dallas, and we are thrilled to welcome her on board.”

Askew, who joins from K&L Gates, received her J.D. from Georgetown University and her B.A. from Knoxville College. She is the recipient of dozens of local, regional and national awards for her achievements and contributions, including her groundbreaking work on diversity, from organisations such as the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Dallas Bar Association, Dallas Women’s Foundation, the American Inns of Court, Texas Lawyer, D Magazine (Dallas 500), Lawdragon 500 and Best Lawyers in America.