Racial, ethnic and cultural diversity
Injustice and trauma caused by systemic racism remain prevalent. That is why our work towards racial equity remains a priority all year round. Our strategic priorities are to effect real and sustainable change in racial equity and improve ethnic and cultural diversity by increasing representation at all levels, ensuring inclusion and addressing and eliminating unconscious bias.
Each of our regions have developed strategic priorities anchored to accountability and a commitment to do better. Some of our initiatives include:
Affinity and employee resource groups across our regions support racial equity and cultural diversity by normalizing dialogues about race and culture in the workplace. They also focus on supporting the firm in increasing representation and contribute to a culture that nurtures, develops and retains racially and culturally diverse talent.
Our Race Equity Councils (REC) in the US and in Canada work closely with firm leadership to advise on racial equity strategies. Initiatives include the creation of a sponsorship program to serve as a career accelerator for Black non-partner lawyers in the US and initiatives to support increasing representation through recruitment and the pipeline to law schools in the US and Canada.
We created and launched a Career Strategies Programme(CSP) to support the career development, engagement and inclusion of firm members who self-identity as Black, Asian, minority ethnic or people of color. These programs are currently available to employees across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Canada.
As a firm, we offer a range of educational opportunities to advance racial inclusion. This includes micro-inequities training that allows firm members to learn how certain subtle behaviors can impact those affected, and how to recognize and interrupt the behaviors to create a psychologically safe and inclusive workplace.
We continue to improve our data quality for demographic information where we are able to collect it. We then leverage this data to set targets and KPIs that drive accountability for progress towards our strategic priorities. In Australia, for example, we have created a historical cultural profile to better understand the workforce and the cultural and linguistic diversity of our people, including how this has changed over time. A curriculum is also being designed for partners to create culturally confident leaders. In South Africa, we leverage our data to make progress with our Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) and Employment Equity targets.
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