Baker McKenzie has been ranked among the top 50 Best Law Firms for Women by Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media). The rankings, released this week, account for best practices in recruiting, retaining, promoting, and developing women lawyers.

Seramount’s 2021 Best Law Firms for Women rankings include over 300 questions about attorney demographics, schedule flexibility, paid time off, parental leaves, and development and retention of women. Under COVID-19, the rankings also took into account the success of work-from-home policies.

Baker McKenzie continues to work toward the target of 40:40:20 percent gender diversity by July 2025. The targets, which represent 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men or non-binary persons), apply to partners, senior business professionals, committee leadership and candidate pools for recruitment to these roles.

The firm also hosts various mentorship and sponsorship programs, including RISE, a year-long mentorship program for 5th- and 6th-year associates in the United States and Canada and senior associates in Mexico (with NA RISE 2.0 soon to be launched), and LIFT (Leaders Investing for Tomorrow), a 12-month sponsorship initiative for women leaders at Baker McKenzie. More than 100 women have participated in this program globally and the firm is on its fifth cohort.

"At Baker McKenzie, we are committed to creating an organization where every person feels fully included and supported. Building a culture of inclusion goes beyond a verbal commitment. That's why we've set specific and measurable gender equity targets and launched programs for mentorship and development," said Colin Murray, North America CEO at Baker McKenzie. "There is no doubt that each of us have a part to play in fostering a culture of equity and inclusion, and there is a lot that remains to be done. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts, and look forward to continuing to develop talent by establishing and strengthening best practices that support women's growth and inclusion in the legal industry."

Baker McKenzie also offers key parental-leave and work-life initiatives that include subsidized backup childcare, with both in-home and center-based options available; up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave, with an additional six weeks of unpaid leave optional and reduced hours upon return; and formal sponsorship and succession planning, among others.

Seramount's full rankings list, available here, highlights law firms that averaged 25 percent women among equity partners, compared with 23 percent last year. Women represented 40 percent of all lawyers overall (up from 39 percent in 2020). Of all female equity partners, 16 percent were multicultural, and multicultural women represented 27 percent of overall women lawyers (up from 26 percent).

“We know that women have left the workplace in droves since the onset of COVID-19,” said Subha V. Barry, CEO of Seramount. “But the fact that representation of women equity partners, and women lawyers overall, has increased during this turbulent time just shows how supportive our Best Law Firms for Women are to parents and caregivers. They stepped up and offered increased flexibility and new benefit programs to help this critical talent pool balance both work and home life.”
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