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Clifford Chance commits to new global and regional gender, ethnicity and LGBT+ targets

13 July 2020

Clifford Chance commits to new global and regional gender, ethnicity and LGBT+ targets

Targets heighten focus and accountability to deliver global inclusion strategy

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has strengthened its commitment to inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity within the firm with the launch of new and ambitious global and regional targets for gender, LGBT+ and ethnicity inclusion.

As the firm further increases its focus on its global inclusion strategy - change the rules, change the culture and change the lived experience, new regional targets have been introduced to ensure greater ambition, progress and accountability are embedded across the firm's global network.

Global Managing Partner Matthew Layton comments: '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. 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.'

Partner and Global Head of People and Talent Laura King comments: 'The targets announced today are a step forward, but not a complete solution. Talking about numbers is the easy part; 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. We are committed to breaking down the barriers that are restricting recruitment, progress and retention and believe we will be a stronger firm if we can attract the best people from the widest talent pools by delivering an equality of opportunity and advancement for all.'

The new targets are:

  • At least 40% female and at least 40% male global partners in the firm by 2030
  • APAC, and UK regions will have a goal of increasing the proportion of female partners by 25% by 2025 and by 60% by 2030
  • Americas and Continental Europe regions will have a goal of increasing the proportion of female partners by 35% by 2025 and 100% by 2030
  • ME region has a separate target of attaining 12.5% female partners by 2025 and 25% by 2030
  • 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 associate, associate, business professionals directors and leadership groups by 2025
  • The firm has introduced its first LGBT global partner level target of 3% by 2025
  • Our first minority ethnicity targets have been adopted for the US and UK regions which include 15% of new partners and 30% senior associates and business professionals by 2025

Global Director of Inclusion Tiernan Brady comments: 'There is nothing inevitable about inclusion. There is no hidden arc of progress that will make it happen automatically. If we want to build an inclusive firm and society, we have to work hard and campaign for it, set goals and when we achieve them, defend and champion them. 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.'