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Race and ethnicity

We want to build a balanced workforce across our whole organisation. Ensuring people from different ethnic minority backgrounds are well represented is a priority for us, and is something we tackle at a local level across our network of offices.

Internationally, groups that are under-represented in top professions differ from country to country, so our work focuses on addressing the specific issues that exist in each country.

Where local regulations allow us to do so, we ask our people to record their race and ethnicity data so that we have an accurate picture of our partners and employees and can track progress on increasing diversity across our business.

As well as attracting and recruiting more people of different races and minority ethnic backgrounds, our focus is firmly on ensuring that our working environment is inclusive for everyone – lawyers or support professionals.

To help achieve this, we have launched a Race & Ethnicity @ A&O network in London, and an Asian Affinity Group and Black and Latinx Affinity Group across both of our U.S. offices, which work to promote role models and increase awareness of cultures. We have also introduced a reverse mentoring programme and are publishing regular interviews – ‘conversations about race’ – with colleagues, as we know that dialogue promotes openness and understanding around these issues.

In the UK, we were one of the first major law firms to report on our ethnicity pay gap, alongside our gender pay gap, in the knowledge that transparency will drive more action and progress.

A personal commitment to our black community

A message to all A&O people from Wim Dejonghe and Gareth Price (Senior and Managing Partners).