Black and minority ethnic solicitors at magic circle firm Clifford Chance are to be paired with senior colleagues in an effort to encourage ‘open and frank discussions’ on diversity matters.
Under a ‘reverse mentoring scheme’, which will run throughout the year, BAME mentors will share their personal experiences and insights with more senior mentees.
Eleven such partnerships have been created following the scheme’s launch at a dinner last week. Senior Clifford Chance lawyers including regional managing partner Michael Bates and chief finance officer Patrick Glydon are taking part.
The Gazette understands the aim is to give senior executives a broader understanding of the challenges facing BAME staff and discuss how matters can be improved.
The London-focused initiative includes employees across the firm’s various operations.
Bates said: ‘The reverse mentoring programme with the BAME network is a fantastic initiative for encouraging open and frank conversations about diversity and inclusivity, which will support us to accelerate progress in this area. Although in its early days, my experience so far has proven extremely valuable and I look forward to it continuing to help improve our workplace for the better, for all.’
Magic circle rival Linklaters has also announced a reverse mentoring scheme pairing junior lawyers with senior partners, though that is not specifically related to BAME issues.