Clifford Chance releases new targets for inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity

The firm has set goals for both global and regional inclusion in terms of gender, LGBT+ and ethnicity

Clifford Chance releases new targets for inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity
Tiernan Brady

Clifford Chance has released its new targets for inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity to the year 2030.

The firm said that it is doubling down on its global strategy for gender, LGBT+ and ethnicity inclusion, which is defined by the phrase “change the rules, change the culture and change the lived experience.” The firm has also set regional inclusion goals to “ensure greater ambition, progress and accountability are embedded across the firm's global network.”

Clifford Chance’s global inclusion targets are:

• The firm will have at least 40% female and at least 40% male global partners by 2030.

• By 2025, the gender targets of at least 40% female and at least 40% male are to be extended at all levels throughout the firm's structures at a global and regional level, including to counsel, senior associates, associates, business professionals directors and leadership groups.

• The firm will have introduced its first LGBT global partner level target of 3% by 2025.

Its regional targets are:

• The APAC and UK regions will have the goal of increasing the proportion of female partners by 25% by 2025 and by 60% by 2030.

• The Americas and continental Europe regions will have the goal of increasing the proportion of female partners by 35% by 2025 and 100% by 2030.

• The ME region will have a separate target of attaining 12.5% female partners by 2025 and 25% by 2030.

• The firm’s first minority ethnicity targets will have been adopted for the US and UK regions, which include 15% of new partners and 30% senior associates and senior business professionals by 2025.

“Creating an inclusive environment is at the heart of our Clifford Chance values, and is good for our industry, our firm, our colleagues and our clients. While we are making progress, and are proud of doing so, I recognise that today, inclusion and equality of opportunity isn't the lived experience for many of our people and we have to do much better,” said global managing partner Matthew Layton. “To make the change that our people, our clients and society expect from us, we need to be actively campaigning and forging positive, inclusive environments which are enriched by the diversity of our people. We have already seen how we can use data to focus attention on our inclusion challenges and their root causes. Our new targets will be a powerful catalyst for the change we want to see and I hope they will set a new standard for our industry.”

Tiernan Brady, Clifford Chance’s global director of inclusion, said that establishing an inclusive firm and society requires effort and intention.

“There is nothing inevitable about inclusion. There is no hidden arc of progress that will make it happen automatically,” he said. “Behind the targets announced today is a tailored set of initiatives that represents a comprehensive strategy to deliver greater inclusion. The top of our firm needs to look like the rest of the firm and the societies we are based in. It is both a core value and an economic imperative, and it is the future for the legal sector.”

Brady said that the work does not stop with the achievement of the targets, but there must be a continued initiative to “defend and champion” those goals.

Clifford Chance partner and global head of people and talent Laura King said that the announcement of the targets was “the easy part.”

“The targets announced today are a step forward, but not a complete solution. We now need to deliver on the actions which will enable inclusive teams to thrive. No matter what challenges the external environment brings, we must maintain momentum and accelerate our progress, because it is during challenging times, such as the current global environment, that a firm's values come to the fore,” she said.

King said the initiative reflects the firm’s commitment to “breaking down the barriers that are restricting recruitment, progress and retention.”

“It’s great to see more ambitious diversity and inclusion targets being set in our profession—not to tick the box, but to embrace fully the value created for firms like ours through a true diversity of talent,” said APAC regional managing partner Geraint Hughes

Matthew Layton

Laura King

Geraint Hughes

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