Add a bookmark to get started

22 March 20216 minute read

DLA Piper sets diversity and inclusion goals for International partnership

  • 30% of all partners to be women by 2025
  • Double the percentage of women in the partnership to at least 40% by 2030
  • Half of all future internal partner promotions to come from under-represented groups

DLA Piper today announced its diversity and inclusion goals for the International firm. Building on its existing baseline of a 21% female partnership, the firm has set a goal to increase that percentage to 30% within four years and 40% by 2030. In addition and effective immediately, at least half of all internal partner promotions – subject to the usual qualification and performance requirements – will come from under-represented groups, including cultural heritage and ethnicity, gender and identity, disability and neurodiversity, background and social mobility, sexual orientation and people working part time. The firm will also continue to monitor data on all its fee earning employees and its Business Services people to ensure it remains inclusive and representative, and commits to addressing any emerging imbalances through a broadened recruitment strategy.

In order to achieve the goals, key performance indicators are now tracked across lateral hires and promotions, retention and the firm's engagement with its people to motivate and enable inclusion, with a series of measures introduced to ensure the firm moves towards the goals at pace.

DLA Piper's Global Co-CEO, Simon Levine commented: "The legal industry has long grappled with diversity and inclusion and good intentions alone will not get us to where we need to be. As well as simply being the right thing to do, ensuring a level playing field for everyone in our business and being representative of the communities we serve is critical in enabling the diversity of thought needed to help our clients solve complex problems and seize opportunities. Publicly stating our commitment means we are accountable. Achieving these goals will be only part of our journey, and we will continue on a path of setting goals for under-represented groups across the firm."

The goals are an extension of DLA Piper's core diversity and inclusion principles which focus on People, Processes and Purpose to support the firm's culture of enabling people to thrive, regardless of background or identity. The People element of the principle focuses on strategies that help the firm's people feel they can be themselves in the workplace and that their voices count. The Process strand focuses on balancing and levelling the playing field for everyone at the firm, while Purpose strives to offer diverse and talented teams to collaborate with clients and reflect the communities in which DLA Piper operates.

A number of initiatives to support the firm in reaching its goals have recently been rolled out throughout all levels of the business.

For example, at trainee level the firm has a series of rigorous measures to ensure it is attracting and recruiting young lawyers from a broad range of backgrounds. Over and above DLA Piper's lateral hiring strategy, the firm has introduced a new sponsorship programme, Elevate, where leaders recognise under-represented proteges' unique experiences and talents, championing them and helping them to broker networks as they make their way through the business. The firm also runs a reverse mentoring programme that is designed to relay the knowledge and experience of individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds with senior managers which increases understanding to help leaders proactively recruit, develop and promote talent from under-represented backgrounds. In addition the firm has a number of people networks that act as allies for families and carers, LGBT+ people, people from ethnic minorities and women.

More information on DLA Piper's approach to diversity and inclusion.