International firm Ashurst has announced targets to increase the number of women in its partnership and senior staff.

The firm’s global board said it wants 40% of promotions to partnership to be female by 2018. Women will also make up 25% of equity partners and 25% of management positions by that date.

The firm is the latest to set targets for more gender diversity, following Herbert Smith Freehills which aims for 30% of partners to be female by 2019 and Pinsent Masons, which wants to see 25% female partners by 2018.

 Of the most recent partner promotions at Ashurst 33% were woman. At present, 14% of its equity partners are women and 27% of those in senior management positions.

Managing partner James Collis said the firm has progress to make in its broader diversity and inclusion agenda. He said: ‘We are fully committed to improving and delivering on our gender diversity targets and to establishing meaningful ways to make progress towards a more inclusive organisation generally.’

Collins said: ‘Recruiting, retaining and promoting the best people from the widest talent pool is a major business priority for all of us. Having a diverse team and an inclusive environment delivers increased levels of innovation, greater productivity and improved staff engagement and client service and is a key management objective for me.’

He said the firm’s new approach to governance is aimed at ‘embedding’ diversity as normal for partners and staff, through consultation, regional training, individual objectives and reporting, to encourage awareness and accountability.