Claudia Prado, Chair of our Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee, sends out a personal message affirming the Firm’s position on supporting women and closing the gender gap.
Today, many of us will be celebrating International Women's Day — with the global theme asking us all to #BeBoldForChange. This time last year, we pledged for parity and stepped up to take action against the gender imbalance, but with the World Economic Forum predicting the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186, we need to make positive change happen faster.
I started this year saying that this would be our "Year of Leading" both internally and in the marketplace. Today, on International Women's Day, I'm so pleased to see that as a Firm we are being bolder for change and ready to lead in the advancement for women in the marketplace. To celebrate this date and as a tribute to all women, we are launching two exciting programs.
As a Firm, realizing the strengths of our differences is important to us — inclusion shouldn't mean that you need to fit in, but rather, that you are accepted and valued for who you are and what you can bring to the table. Baker McKenzie needs unique individuals who will find new ways of addressing the challenges that women continue to face.
Supporting high-potential women attorneys
We are launching our pilot sponsorship program LIFT (Leaders investing for Tomorrow). The internal program will initially focus on a number of high-potential women attorneys, and has been designed to ensure access to the tools and support they need in order to build a great career at all levels within the Firm.
The program, which we will expand in the future, will see our senior leaders actively advocating for the advancement of women, helping to plan career moves, sharing their network, and endorsing the women they will be sponsoring.
Attracting, advancing, and retaining women leaders
Externally, we have entered into a partnership with the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR) and QUEST, a global leadership institute for early career women, to be the signature sponsor of a special report that focuses on attracting, advancing, and retaining next generation women leaders.
These women are critical to the future success of our Firm — we must continue to challenge and stretch them to create a culture where early career women can thrive. We need to ensure that the women in our Firm can build a great career at all levels, so that we do not lose valuable talent.
There are many activities happening around the Firm in celebration of International Women's Day. In line with this year's theme, I encourage you all to #BeBoldForChange as we continue along our D&I journey. Our Global Chair, Paul Rawlinson, shares some personal thoughts below.