Future of Work

Global law firm Linklaters has introduced a new racial diversity strategy committing to address the issues that employees from ethnic minority groups face in the workplace.

The strategy called ‘Race Action Plan’ sets out a number of steps for the employer to commit to, including establishing a black diversity council that will hold the firm accountable for diversity strategies. Linklaters plans to enhance performance reviews for its senior leadership team by adding metrics that look at the development of the new race strategy.

The organisation will double its annual pro bono hours to partners that spend time advancing racial equality. Linklaters will also publish its ethnicity pay figures and communicate the progress of reducing its gap.

To further address ethnic equality, Linklaters will offer more senior leadership roles to black and ethnic minority (Bame) employees. Those that are not at the stage to take on these roles will be offered training and development opportunities.

Linklaters, which currently employs 5,340 staff, will additionally create a diversity scholarship fund to support black and underrepresented minority ethnic law students.

Charlie Jacobs, senior partner and senior champion for race and ethnicity at Linklaters, said: “As an employer, we pride ourselves on our values of respect, integrity and inclusion and we are calling on those values to stand against racism and champion equality. We must do better as a firm, industry and society to ensure greater representation of Bame groups at all levels of the organisation. Reinforced by our Race Action Plan, we will create meaningful change within our organisation and are committed to ensuring that we are home to and have an inclusive culture for all employees.”

Tom Shropshire, partner at Linklaters, added: “We are committed to being leaders for positive change, including across the global legal industry and within the communities where we live and serve. We see there is structural change needed, and we have an important role to play and must be agents for that change.”

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