Ashurst unveils new inclusion, diversity, and belonging targets

The firm aims to hit the targets by 2026 with the help of a new action plan

Ashurst unveils new inclusion, diversity, and belonging targets

Ashurst has unveiled new inclusion, diversity, and belonging (IDB) targets it aims to achieve by 2026.

The firm’s board developed two new goals based on consultations with the executive team and the Committed to Change Advisory Group.

“Delivering on our commitment to inclusion, diversity and belonging is a key strategic priority for the firm and setting targets drives the change we all want to achieve,” said Ashurst global chair Karen Davies.

Both targets are centred on representation at the partner and senior business services leader levels. Under the first target, the firm is looking to boost representation at these levels to 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men and non-binary persons); under the second target, the firm is aiming to achieve 4% LGBTI+ representation.

Ashurst has already made strides towards achieving these goals. According to global managing partner Paul Jenkins, the proportion of females in legal leadership roles at the firm has increased from 23% to 30% since gender targets were set in 2018. Moreover, the proportion of female senior business service leaders has risen from 38% to 61%.

Further, females now make up 50% of the firm’s executive team, and the gender balance of partnership promotions has jumped from 58% to 78%. However, Jekins believes that there is more to be done.

Thus, Ashurst has also established its IDB Action Plan, which lists eight key inclusion priorities and sets out practical steps to drive inclusion, diversity and belonging within the firm. The new global framework succeeds the firm’s 2019-2020 Action Plan.

“The IDB Action Plan helps us make tangible progress towards our goal of being the most progressive global firm,” Jenkins explained. “The new targets and plan will continue to drive progress in putting inclusion, diversity and belonging at the heart of everything we do and will ensure we hold ourselves to account.”

Davies said that the cultivation of an inclusive environment for its staff was “critical.”

“Our new targets are a key step in achieving that and will provide a clear focus for us all to work together to accelerate change in our firm,” she said.

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