Our co-founder Russell Baker believed that including lawyers from a variety of countries and cultures was the only way for Baker McKenzie to become a truly global law firm.
This commitment can be seen in our decision to locate our second office in Caracas, Venezuela and our fourth in Brussels, Belgium. We have continued on this path of global expansion ever since.
What really sets us apart is our ability to leverage the different languages, cultures and perspectives we have to create a truly international law firm that places a real focus on diversity and inclusion.
Our belief is that diversity and inclusion creates a positive workforce environment, but building a diverse workforce is also the smart business thing to do. We know this approach breeds creativity, encourages a greater range of views and helps us to respond better to the needs of our clients and the communities we work in. Our clients only want to work with law firms who respect their employees and share their values.
We are making progress boosting our own diversity and inclusion practices every single day and will continue to do everything possible to create the best environment for all of our employees and make sure the Firm is a fair and inclusive place to work.
Diversity & Inclusion News
While our approach to diversity and inclusion is multi-faceted, three areas where we have specific policies are:
Ethnic & Cultural Diversity
Ethnicity means different things in different countries, so a single approach to ethnic and cultural diversity is ill-advised. This is why we build practices from the ground up, taking local cultural sensitivities into consideration wherever we practice law. Despite the challenges, we have a strong desire to address a lack of equity around the world and encourage each of our offices to define race/ethnic diversity in a way that suits their local culture, politics, clients and business environment.
We believe women must be leaders at all levels of the Firm. We seek to foster women leaders in our senior global roles but we are also focusing on ensuring that women are leaders of our most significant client relationships. Since 2012, we have adopted a gender policy designed to encourage the recruitment and retention of more women, and provide greater opportunities and support for women to assume leadership roles. At the partner level, we have set gender diversity aspirational targets - we are working to ensure that women comprise at least 40% of local/national partners and at least 30% of principals and those in leadership positions.
Everyone should feel comfortable in the workplace, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. We are committed to creating and maintaining an open and supportive working environment. This includes equal opportunity for advancement and development within the firm regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and the equal provision of benefits to same and opposite sex partners or spouses.