Eversheds Sutherland announced on September 19 2019 that it has set targets to increase the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals in the UK within the next six years.
The firm aims to achieve a 14% increase across all roles by 2022 (currently 11.85%) and a 10% increase in the number of partners by 2025 (currently 5.33%). The firm also pledged to "voluntarily publish its ethnicity pay data alongside its gender pay report" from 2020.
According to its press release, the firm's CEO Lee Ranson said:
“We want Eversheds Sutherland to be a firm which reflects the world in which we live and work, and where opportunity is available to the many and not the few. Recognising the challenges often faced by the BAME community we are setting targets, as we have in other areas, to bring accountability and transparency to the success of our programme to build a more ethnically diverse workforce. We will continue to appoint the best people for all our roles but want to ensure we have removed any barriers which could discourage BAME candidates from applying or being successful.”
Naeema Choudry, partner and ethnicity network co-lead said:
“The introduction of targets supports Eversheds Sutherland’s commitment to create the right environment for BAME colleagues to develop their careers. By challenging our UK practice to focus on this important issue we hope to see real and meaningful change. Data from the SRA has shown the challenge that we face across the whole legal sector to be ethnically diverse. Each firm has an individual role to play but making a wholesale shift will require us to work together across the sector.”