A&Out mentoring brings together LGBTQ+ colleagues all over the A&O network
Partner, Global Head of Intellectual Property
Dr Maria Boerner
Frankfurt am Main
27 June 2022
The mentoring scheme from A&Out, our LGBTQ+ global network, was introduced last year in the UK, and brings together LGBTQ+ colleagues to share experiences and support each other.
The scheme’s success has led to it being launched globally.
Associate Elliott Glover and partner David Stone, who are both based in London, have enjoyed being a mentoring pair and are clear on the benefits of the scheme.
Talking one-to-one with a senior leader has provided me with an opportunity and outlet to discuss candidly my own experiences and aspirations. David has provided invaluable insight into steps that I can take to direct my career as well as the perspectives and expectations of senior lawyers.
Elliott Glover, Associate
“It’s extremely beneficial to talk to someone with a similar lived experience on a completely confidential basis who understands how you feel, and who can provide a perspective which is based on experiences similar to your own.”
David Stone added: “I think there are questions it’s easier to ask of someone you work with who is also part of the LGBTQ+ community. On what can sometimes be a hard, uphill path, it’s encouraging to see people like you up ahead. So there is also an element of role-modelling in the mentoring relationship.
“I’ve learnt a lot from listening to someone at the other end of their career too. Listening to those people who represent the future of the firm is so important to ensure we are creating an environment where everyone can flourish.”
Maria Boerner is a Corporate associate in Frankfurt, and she is excited about the positive impact the scheme will have for participants across the network as it goes global.
Maria commented: “I am convinced this mentoring programme will allow our colleagues to develop as whole individuals and empower everyone to hold a positive self-image. Being able to share and learn from experiences is really valuable in ensuring you feel comfortable at work and feel confident to share your full identity.
“There are different levels of awareness and inclusivity in different societies around the world and in a small office it may feel like there is no-one from the LGBTQ+ community except you. It can be stressful worrying about colleagues’ and clients’ reactions to you being LGBTQ+. A mentoring relationship provides a safe environment to discuss all sorts of issues, find support and gain career insight and advice from someone who understands your position.”