NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Accenture (NYSE:ACN) recognized five law firms: Baker McKenzie; Allen & Overy; McDermott Will & Emery; Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP; and Lewis Silkin — with his External Board Diversity Award. Now in its second year, the annual award recognizes companies working with Accenture that make tangible progress in inclusion, diversity and equity. This commitment is a key aspect of how Accenture chooses its legal partners.
“We work with legal partners who share our belief in the power of diversity – it’s essential for innovation, attracting top talent and making us smarter,” said Julie Sweet, president and CEO of Accenture. “We are honored to recognize these five exceptional firms, whose strong commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity makes their work – and ours – the best it can be.”
Accenture’s legal team analyzed the 2021 diversity initiatives of more than 70 small, medium and large law firms, measuring their progress on diversity (both firm-wide and firm-specific). Accenture issues); inclusion, diversity and equity activities; and advancing diversity commitments across the legal industry.
“The winners share our values and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Joel Unruch, general counsel and corporate secretary of Accenture. “We recognize these leaders for their commitment and believe that all of our partners have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to diversity in the legal profession and to accelerate change.
The Accenture External Lawyer Diversity Award recognizes the exceptional efforts of these law firms:
- Baker McKenzie continues to be a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2019, the company set ambitious 40:40:20 gender goals for leadership, which is 40% male, 40% female, and 20% non-binary or flexible by 2025 and is already making good progress. Baker McKenzie also partners with Accenture’s legal team on pro bono initiatives across multiple programs, including a recent proprietary tool that helps analyze domestic violence laws around the world, and is also involved in a mentorship program to develop diverse talent with M&A skills.
- Allen & Overy has a dedicated diversity and inclusion lead who works with senior management, including regional leads at the partner level, to help the firm achieve its ambitious diversity, equity and inclusion goals . The firm has a reverse mentorship program, which pairs senior executives with junior and diverse lawyers to understand their career aspirations and challenges.
- McDermott Will & Emery continues to promote diverse lawyers in partnership and leadership roles. The firm also supports diverse groups of diverse employees to further promote inclusion and equality in the legal industry. Through McDermott Rise, a program dedicated to addressing inequality and advancing equity for Black people and all entrepreneurs of color, McDermott provides legal and business services to start-up and emerging businesses with innovative plans. and solve important problems in their communities, helping them launch and scale their businesses.
- Osler invested in internships, scholarships and sponsorships to help grow the pool of Black and Indigenous talent in the legal industry in Canada. Osler’s Female Lawyer Advancement Program helps propel seasoned female lawyers into partnerships. The firm’s professional legal resource groups, including the Osler Black Lawyers’ Network, the Osler South Asian Network, the Asia-Pacific Affinity Network, the Osler Pride Network and the Osler Women Lawyers’ Network, provide opportunities social networking and business development. The firm also provides its clients with a dashboard that captures gender diversity at the file level.
- Lewis Silkin has implemented a six-year legal apprenticeship program that combines work experience in the firm with formal education. This introduced a non-traditional route to earning a law degree, opening up the opportunity to practice law for everyone, despite financial or other barriers. The firm has several internal and external programs to promote inclusion and diversity and is a founding member of LeGalBest, a London-based LGBT network for small and medium-sized law firms.
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