Diversity, inclusion and inspiring women leaders
We are defined by our people and are committed to recruiting, developing and retaining the highest calibre of professionals who reflect the diversity of our clients and the communities and markets we work in. Fostering diversity and inclusion allows us to acquire the most talented people, to build the most effective teams for our clients, and deliver the highest level of service.
To be a true leading global business law firm also involves being a global leader in the advancement of 12women lawyers. In New Zealand we have a strong partnership of diverse professionals. A large percent of our partners are women (43%) with a number in core leadership roles.
Global initiatives, such as our Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW) programme, help to provide current and future leaders with opportunities to build valuable connections, develop client relationships and strengthen leadership skills.
We also promote diversity through our local committees in New Zealand. Approximately a third of our employees belong to one of the firm’s diversity and inclusion committees which include the following:
IRIS: Promoting an inclusive work environment for colleagues who identify as LGBTI.
BMX: (Baby boomer/Millennial/Gen X), developing mutual enrichment of all generations in the workplace.
HIP: (Heritage and Identity Project), enhancing inclusion of all races and cultures while recognising the uniqueness of Māori as tangata whenua.
THRIVE: Promoting and enhancing our workplace agility and wellness (including mental health).
LAW: Leadership Alliance for Women Group, our network that plays an integral role in our vision for a gender balanced and inclusive firm.
Pro bono, giving something back
Every lawyer is encouraged to perform at least 35 hours of pro bono work each year. Additionally, our employees are allocated two days a year to participate in firm-organised volunteering activities in the community.
We are proud to be one of the world’s largest providers of pro bono legal services. For you, it’s an opportunity to help vulnerable people in your community. Working with law centres and frontline agencies, you could find yourself providing advice on topics such as asylum and immigration, unlawful detention, or even business advice.
There’s also the opportunity to help further afield too. New Perimeter, our non-profit affiliate enables our lawyers to provide pro bono legal assistance in underserved regions around the world.
Our Global Scholarships Programme for undergraduate law students from the UNs’ 50 Least Developed Countries provides students with access to role models, work experience, mentoring and financial assistance. This supports the students’ skills development, builds capacity and promotes the rule of law. Last year, we were privileged to host two of our Global Scholarship fellows here in New Zealand for two weeks.
Additionally, to deliver on our commitment of providing equal opportunity and breaking down barriers faced by under-represented groups when entering the business of law, we have partnered with The Prince’s Trust NZ in 2020 to launch our Head Start New Zealand programme. This is a 1-5 year programme backing secondary school students through tertiary education and providing mentoring, internships and financial support.
DLA Piper strives to be a leader in environmental sustainability. We undertake initiatives to reduce our own operational environmental impact and we believe that our greatest contribution to a sustainable environment is the advice and support we provide to our clients – both in managing their own environmental impacts and assessing and responding to climate-related risks and opportunities.
We also make an active contribution to international climate policy discussions and the development of investments in low-carbon technology and infrastructure.
Some of our goals and initiatives include:
Energy: Our target is to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent by 2025.
Waste: By 2025, we aim to reduce paper use by 25 percent and to increase the percentage of the waste we recycle.
Sustainable procurement: We are currently in the process of implementing a supplier portal to encourage all of our major suppliers to provide us with regular, consistent sustainability performance data. We have also adopted a sustainable procurement policy.
Head for Sustainability and ESG: In April 2020, we appointed the firm’s first International Head for Sustainability and ESG. It is a global topic which requires a global response and we are ideally placed as a firm to guide and assist our clients in this important area, and to play our role in helping to make business better.