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Law firm DLA Piper announced yesterday its diversity and inclusion goals. Building on its existing baseline of a 21% female representation, the firm has set a goal to increase that percentage to 30% within four years and 40% by 2030.

Effective immediately, at least half of all internal partner promotions 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.

To enable these goals, the law firm will deploy key performance indicators to review lateral hires and promotions, retention and introduce a series of measures to boost employee engagement in diversity and inclusion.

Commenting on DLA Piper's commitment, DLA Piper’s global co-CEO, Simon Levine, said, “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,” Levine added.

Prior to the announcement, the firm has recently launched a number of D&I-oriented initiatives. The firm introduced a new sponsorship programme, Elevate, where leaders recognise and introduce under-represented proteges to broader networks as they make their way through the business. It also runs a reverse mentoring programme that is designed to relay the knowledge and experience of individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds with senior managers in a bid to increase understanding to help leaders recruit, develop and promote talent from under-represented backgrounds.

There is also a number of people networks that act as allies for families and carers, LGBT+ people, people from ethnic minorities and women within the company.

DLA Piper’s core diversity and inclusion principles are people, processes and purpose. The people element focuses on strategies that help the firm’s employees 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, and lastly, purpose strives to offer diverse and talented teams to collaborate with clients and reflect the communities in which DLA Piper operates.

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