Ashurst commits to Inclusion, Diversity and Belonging Targets for ethnicity and LGBTI+ and launches Action Plan

Global law firm Ashurst has today announced the firm’s new Inclusion, Diversity and Belonging (IDB) Targets to be achieved by 2026 and launched its IDB Action Plan.

The new targets, set by the Board in consultation with the Executive Team and the Committed to Change Advisory Group, comprise:

  • 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men or non-binary persons) representation at partnership and senior business services leader level
  • 4% of LGBTI+ representation at partnership and senior business services leader level
  • 15% of partners and senior business services leaders to be ethnically diverse, of whom 6% will be Black (UK only)
  • At least 35% of trainees each year to be ethnically diverse, of whom 13% will be Black (UK only)
  • 30% of legal and business services staff to be ethnically diverse, of whom 13% will be Black (UK only)

The five-year targets see a broadening of focus areas, with the introduction of a global LGBTI+ target, ethnicity targets in the UK and renewed gender equality targets.

The firm’s IDB Action Plan sets out eight overarching inclusion priorities and practical steps Ashurst will collectively take to progress IDB at the firm. The global framework follows on from the 2019-2021 Action Plan.

“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 Karen Davies, Global Chair at Ashurst. “Creating an inclusive environment for all of our people is critical and 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.”

Global Managing Partner, Paul Jenkins, said that since Ashurst set its gender targets in 2018 the firm had significantly improved the gender balance of promotions to partnership (increasing from 58% to 78%), the proportion of females in legal leadership roles (increasing from 23% to 30%, including 50% of the Executive Team now being female) and business services leaders (increasing from 38% to 61%).

“We have, however, far more to do. The IDB Action Plan helps us make tangible progress towards our goal of being the most progressive global firm. 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,” Paul Jenkins said.

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