Diversity and Inclusion

We want to recruit the most talented and ambitious people to work at Allen & Overy. It doesn't matter where they have come from or what their background is: we look for their skills, experience and potential. In return, we provide an inclusive and collaborative environment, where our people can achieve their full potential and make a valuable contribution to Allen & Overy's success.

 

What do we mean by diversity & inclusion?

Diversity is highly valued here. Everyone has the opportunity to join us, develop with us and fulfill their potential with us. We want to:

We want to:

  • Create a culture where everyone feels valued, included and respected;
  • Bring together teams of people with differing and complementary skills, ideas and experiences;
  • Ensure people from diverse backgrounds feel they can develop their careers with us;
  • Use the diversity of our people to develop creative solutions for our clients; and
  • Support the evolution of a legal profession that is truly accessible to everyone, regardless of his or her background.

These are the standards we set for ourselves and we regularly review what we are doing to see if we are achieving them.

 

Broadening access to the legal profession

We think that the legal profession should be accessible to everyone. We aim to:

  • Widen the talent pool from which we select the brightest and best people;
  • Give talented students the opportunity and aspiration for a career in law; and
  • Have a workforce that offers an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.  


So what have we been doing?

  • We support the recruitment of minority candidates by sponsoring student minority organizations and recruiting at minority job fairs, including the Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair and the National Black Law Students Association Job Fair.
  • We implement training on ‘unconscious bias’ and cultural awareness to legal and non-legal staff and to our recruitment and selection panels. These training programs include elements of working well with others, respect for each other’s differences and the importance of recruiting from a wider range of law schools.
  • We promote A&Out, our international LGBT forum. Around the world, A&O runs networking events in collaboration with clients and with university LGBT societies to raise the profile of our profession as an inclusive career choice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students.  We recently joined 21 other law firms on the legal panel for the Human Dignity Trust, which is working to promote LGBT rights through strategic litigation around the world.
  • We track, record and publish our diversity statistics in an effort to showcase our commitment to enhancing diversity within the legal industry. We report these statistics on our website: allenovery.com/csr and on Vault’s MCCA Law Firm Diversity Database. We also conduct regular internal surveys to find out what our people think. We take the results seriously and use them to drive change in the way we do things.
  • We work on diversity-related pro bono, community service and charity matters, such as A&O’s global charity partner War Child, the Henry Street Settlement’s Boys and Girls Republic events, Immigration Equality and family law matters with Agudath Israel of America and Her Justice.
  • We have a Diversity Committee in the U.S. offices made up of partners, associates and support staff, all of whom volunteer their time to meet regularly to hear issues and review our policies and diversity initiatives.

 

Recent Initiatives

  • 20:20: A&O has made a commitment to raise the number of women in partnership to 20% by 20:20. To ensure that more of our best female talent makes it through to partnership we have introduced programs around supporting the talent pipeline including mentoring, female networking (both internally and sponsoring and engaging in external networks), maternity coaching, female skill-set training and agile working.
  • Our Progress: Over 40% of our last global partner promotion group were female bringing the female partner population up to 17%. We have already reached 20% of female partners in nine countries (including in the U.S.) and we will continue to progress towards our firm wide goal.
  • Women’s Committee: This year we had an active and vibrant U.S. Women’s Committee. The committee’s overall mission is to strengthen the women’s network across the Americas, and to become a resource for associates and partners alike through training, client development and other general networking opportunities. The committee has already hosted several successful trainings and events, including a “Women in Law” panel and all-female wine tasting party for the summer associate class.
  • Flexible Working: We have a range of formal flexible working options that anyone can apply for. These allow people to adjust their working time and patterns to fit the needs of their personal commitments and professional responsibilities.  We are also mindful that, aside from formal arrangements, the ability to work flexibly from time to time is something all of us value and there are times when it is not necessary to be working at the office to work productively.  As well as providing a range of technology that enables our people to work from home or other remote locations, we encourage a culture of trust so people feel empowered to do so.