Dechert Promotes a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion with New Initiatives

July 24, 2020

Dechert has launched a raft of new initiatives as part of its annual Diversity & Inclusion Week (July 20-24), to help reinforce the firm’s culture of community, recognizing that diverse teams who bring different backgrounds and perspectives are key to delivering the highest-quality legal services to our clients.

Dechert is a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion, with senior leadership committed to actively supporting underrepresented colleagues and educating and emboldening internal allies to speak up to combat racism and sexism. Over the years, Dechert has made substantial investments to drive diversity through various culture initiatives; new policies and procedures; launched and upgraded extensive learning and development programmes focused on diverse individuals; introduced agile working in addition to flexible working; enhanced its family leave policy; recruited a certified career coach to support individuals with their development; launched Diversity Awards to recognize and reward those who serve as role models for the inclusive, open culture the firm values, awarding each honoree with a $10,000 bonus, and much more.

Significantly, new mandatory inclusive leadership training has been rolled out globally, focusing on specific competencies and actions people can take to build inclusive relationships, develop diverse talent, and improve their adaptability. Dechert’s partners have been participating in inclusive leadership training sessions approximately every eight weeks for the last two years, most recently benefitting from training on inclusive leadership in times of crises, clearly indicating Dechert’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

During Diversity & Inclusion Week, the firm has:

  • Further developed its already comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit and strongly encouraged all members of the Dechert community to deepen their understanding of racism,  to learn anti-racist practices and ally-ship, and to take personal responsibility to actively combat systemic inequalities and foster inclusion at work and in its communities.  
  • Encouraged all Dechert lawyers and business service professionals to feel confident that they can be themselves at work by customizing their new intranet profile. For example, by adding their preferred gender pronouns as well as personal details such as favorite books and movies and sharing photos of family, pets, hobbies, favorite vacation spots and more.
  • Hosted a series of events, including a personal and provocative conversation with Afua Hirsch, a British writer, broadcaster, and former barrister who discussed race, identity and belonging, and the impact history has had on racism and inequality today. The firm also held a fast-paced virtual quiz focused on diversity, inclusion and world culture, with a charitable donation made to the winning teams’ chosen charities focused on social justice.

In June 2020, Dechert was one of 125 law firms that signed on to the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance, which has the goal of addressing not just individual assaults on equality and social justice, but the structures in place that allow those inequalities to propagate.  Also in June, Dechert’s U.S. offices closed early to commemorate Juneteenth, the day on which the last slaves in the United States were freed. The firm assembled resources for all employees to learn about and reflect upon the effects of systemic racism and was commended as one of the first law firms to recognize Juneteenth. Dechert has also been sponsoring a town hall and speaker series to address recent events related to racism and social justice in the United States and around the world. Last year, Dechert achieved Mansfield Rule 2.0 Plus Certification, as a result of the firm’s strong commitment to moving the needle on diversity and inclusion, and the firm is actively pursuing 3.0 Certification for 2020.  

About Dechert

Dechert is a leading global law firm with 26 offices around the world. We advise on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for all clients.