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A&O wins Gender Diversity Project of the Year at Women in Law Awards 2020

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Jo Dooley

Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


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Hocken Mark
Mark Hocken

Senior Recruitment Manager


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Elizabeth Randall

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12 November 2020

Allen & Overy’s return to work programme ‘I’m Back’ has scooped the award for Gender Diversity Project of the Year at the Women in Law Awards 2020.  The programme was recognised by the judges for being an outstanding example of supporting women back to the workplace after an extended period of time out of the profession. 

'I’m Back’, now in its fourth year, provides a route back to work for experienced former Allen & Overy lawyers and practice support staff who have been on an extended career break.  It comprises a six-month programme whereby participants undertake technical and core skills training, update their knowledge and gain on-the-job experience working in one of the firm’s practice groups or departments. At the end of the programme, participants are considered for a role within Allen & Overy. 

Senior resourcing manager Mark Hocken, who runs the programme, comments: “This is fantastic recognition for our programme, which has not only successfully reintroduced people to work after a break but supports the firm’s wider strategic goal to recruit and retain female talent. The feedback we have had from the programme has been extremely positive and we are so pleased that it has helped a broad range of people re-establish their careers in the legal sector.”  

A&O’s head of Diversity and Inclusion Jo Dooley adds: “Innovative programmes such as ‘I’m Back’ help us to make real progress in our aim to increase diversity at the firm and the wider industry. I’m thrilled that the programme has been recognised for its contribution and look forward to welcoming an even greater number of returners to the firm in the future.”