Baker McKenzie has announced the new target, which it said is applicable to partners, senior business professionals, firm committee leaderships and candidate pools for recruitment, with the firm aiming to achieve it by 1 July 2025.
With immediate effect, all candidate pools for external partner or senior business professional recruitment should meet the new targets, Baker McKenzie explained.
It also reported that from July 2020, offices which do not yet have at least 25 per cent women partners should be making sure that at least one out of four partner promotions are women.
Commenting on Baker McKenzie’s decision, the firm’s global diversity and inclusion committee chair and global executive member, Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort, said “we have made a big step towards providing equal opportunities for women with the overwhelming support of our senior leadership”.
“Twenty years after electing the first female chair of any global law firm, I am proud to say that once again Baker McKenzie is leading the way in the legal sector,” she continued.
“We have a strong commitment to recruiting a diverse pool of talent and creating an inclusive workplace environment where our people are able to reach their fullest potential.
“We believe diversity makes us stronger and better placed to serve our clients and the communities in which we work. As such, diversity forms a core part of our strategy, across the firm globally. We are extremely proud that, in a recent firm-wide survey, 98 per cent of our people agreed with the statement, ‘This firm values diversity in its workforce’.”
Acting global chair Jaime Trujillo highlighted Baker McKenzie as having “more female partners than any other law firm”, which he considered as great progress towards the “critical goal”.
“For the last three years, our promotions to partner have been on average 40 per cent women,” he continued, noting several of the firm’s industry group leadership teams also as having at least 50 per cent female members.
“Our new 40:40:20 targets will ensure that we continue to do everything possible to make sure the firm is a fair and inclusive place to work and that we create the best environment for all our people,” Mr Trujillo remarked.
The Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW has previously advocated for 40:40:20 targets, while Norton Rose Fulbright has expressed the use of 40:40:20 targets as a “useful and powerful tool”.