Mayer Brown aims to create a work environment in which professional development and success are determined only by an individual’s ability and commitment; where we respect, celebrate and embrace our differences; and in which shared values of excellence and teamwork unite us—enabling us to better serve our clients.
We want to provide a platform for the success and growth of our diverse lawyers and business services professionals. That advancement could manifest in a senior global leadership position or leadership in local practices and departments or on client or industry teams or in accomplishments as superb practitioners and professionals.
For example, to this end, we have worked to achieve the US Mansfield Rule 4.0 Certification, which attests that Mayer Brown has shown commitment to and has made meaningful progress on diversifying law firm leadership. The certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. We are pursuing the 5.0 Certification and have applied for the inaugural UK certification.
We have also instituted a number of initiatives to enable us to become an even more diverse and inclusive firm.
Mayer Brown remains committed to the recruitment, retention and advancement of attorneys of color and business services staff of color. We provide opportunities across our firm to build a sense of community while also offering programs for professional development support, networking and mentoring. We also recognize the many examples of racial injustice that persist our communities. In response, Mayer Brown is pursuing very specific initiatives to help bring about meaningful and positive change.
For example, our Project Equity program addresses issues of racial and social justice in areas such as voter rights, policing reform, housing and migrant workforces. While initially directed at addressing systemic racism in the United States and expanded to firm offices in other regions, Project Equity finds pro bono and community service opportunities for lawyers and commits time and money to these causes.
In addition, our US offices have launched an educational speaker series featuring conversations with experts in their field on the experiences, perspectives and challenges of being Black in America and have held events focused on structural racism in American institutions.
In Asia, Mayer Brown has pledged to adopt the Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment. The firm is also among the 150 organizations who signed Hong Kong’s Racial Diversity and Inclusion Charter for Employers in March 2021. Launched by the Equal Opportunities Commission, the charter includes nine goals on inclusive policy, culture and work environment, including ensuring that racial minorities from underprivileged and under-represented communities can access internship, training, mentoring and volunteering opportunities.
In the United Kingdom, a group of lawyers and business services staff—the Fusion Network—focuses on racial and social justice, social mobility and social outreach. The London office also runs an annual Black Mentoring Schemes for students in partnership with Aspiring Solicitors; works pro bono with UnLtd, a charity supporting enterprises owned by Black entrepreneurs and members of other racial and ethnic communities); and hosts events to in honor of Black History Month.
Recognizing that recruitment and advancement of women is essential to the growth and strength of our firm, we focus on gender diversity not just at promotions time but throughout the year through a range of training programs, networking opportunities and client events designed to support women at every career level.
In addition to our Women’s Leadership Committee, Women’s Forums in the majority of our regions guide women’s initiatives at the office level.
We are committed to creating a thriving and supportive workplace for LGBT+ lawyers and business services professionals in each of our regions, ensuring that all individuals can bring their authentic selves to work.
We promote LGBT+ diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, provide pro bono legal services for a number of LGBT+-focused organizations as well as support for their events, strive to raise awareness of LGBT+ legal issues locally and globally and consistently earn recognition for LGBT+ inclusiveness and equality in our firm.
Helping our people balance work and family commitments is a top priority for our firm. We offer family-friendly work policies, support transitioning to and from parental leave, relevant programming on family topics from child-rearing to elder care and affinity networking opportunities.
Mental Health and Well-being
We believe that optimum social, mental and occupational health is critical to helping our people reach their full potential. We provide resources to support stress management; fitness and nutrition, which can impact mental health; time management; financial well-being; conflict resolution; and other factors critical to health and wellness, including in-office and virtual yoga classes and mindfulness presentations.
We believe that having a disability has no bearing on what a person contributes to an organization, so we are working to ensure that people with disabilities are among the pool of people we consider when seeking talent for our business.
We partner with the Business Disability Forum on our journey to becoming more disability-smart and with organizations such as My Plus Consulting and Aspiring Solicitors to attract, retain and progress the careers of graduates with disabilities. The work that we have done so far is only the beginning, and we recognize there is more work to be done.
We have implemented a respect-at-work policy reinforced by presentations exploring the negative effects of oppressive language and offering practical recommendations for cultivating a culture of respect and inclusion.
We also conduct a workshop in our offices worldwide to heighten awareness of unconscious bias. This popular training program is interactive, professionally facilitated and features actors creating scenarios that spark reaction and promote productive discussion from the audience.
At Mayer Brown we believe that career success should not be restricted by a person's social, educational or financial background and that the legal sector should be open to talent from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
As a business, we have an important part to play in creating opportunities and breaking down barriers. For example, in Asia, we work with Y-We (the Youth Work Experience Programme) to provide work experience for underprivileged high school students and with HK Scholars to provide English courses for high school students from low-income families. In the United Kingdom, we partner with various organizations—the Angle House Foundation, MyKindaFuture, Think It Possible and AllAboutSchoolLeavers—that offer students skills and awareness workshops, talks, open days and workplace experience. We also work with organizations such as PRIME, Sponsors of Educational Opportunity, Aspiring Solicitors (AS) and City Solicitors Horizons to provide students from under-represented groups with training, mentoring, networking and work experience.
Our ability to attract the best talent tomorrow requires encouraging students with diverse experiences and insights to pursue a career in law today.
We offer students a conduit to opportunity and professional success through our involvement in conferences, job fairs, panel discussions and workshops at law schools, universities, colleges and secondary schools.
Our apprentice programs, scholarship programs and partnerships with organizations such as the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London and Aspiring Solicitors (UK) also play a key role in creating a supportive, diverse workplace.
Our US Diversity Scholars Program recognizes law students in our Summer Associate Program who share our commitment to improving diversity in the legal profession and who demonstrate strong academic achievement, leadership skills and an ability to overcome adversity. The program provides annual scholarships.
Mayer Brown has been recognized by organizations worldwide for our diversity and inclusion initiatives. Highlights include:
Our Pride Parade, launched in June 2020 and held virtually that year and the next due to the pandemic, consists of weekly events—stops on our parade route—which explore how LGBT+ professionals navigate the legal profession, review legal issues and cases impacting the LGBT+ community and provide opportunities to collaborate with clients in supporting LGBT+ youth and professionals.
Throughout June 2021, in celebration of Pride Month, members of the global Mayer Brown community also shared reflections on LGBT+ identity, pride and what it means to build an inclusive culture and workplace.
- Paris counsel Joydeep Sengupta on what it means to drive “meaningful change"
- Rio associate Lívia de Lima about being an effective ally to LGBT+ colleagues
- London litigation support manager and LGBT+ Network co-chair Sue Knox on taking action to make an inclusive workplace
For International Women’s Day in 2021, we produced a podcast episode in Portuguese discussing domestic violence, especially violence against women in their homes, the domestic violence issue in Brazil and the role of business in fighting this issue. The episode was promoted by our Brazilian Diversity & Inclusion Committee and featured Dr. Ela Wiecko discussing how domestic violence affects families in Brazil.
We invited Rita Cristina de Oliveira, coordinator of the Ethnic Racial Policies Group of the Federal Public Defender's Office, and our client Ianda Lopes, general counsel of GE Renewable Energy for Latin America, to a rich discussion in Portuguese about empowering Black women in the Brazilian labor market. The speakers described their career trajectories and what it is like to be a Black woman in the public sector and in the corporate world, respectively.
For International Women’s Day in 2021, our Brazilian offices hosted a videocast in Portuguese on the role of financial independence in empowering women to break free from abusive relationships. A panel discussion with experts was followed by practical financial education training for our associates and staff.
In 2021, Mayer Brown ran new year-long educational series featuring fearless conversations with experts in their fields on the experiences, perspectives and challenges of being Black in America. During one session, Professor Deborah N. Archer explored the concept of systemic racism and its presence in America’s institutions.
Mayer Brown’s Diversity & Inclusion team has curated materials to provide context for the firm’s recognition of June 19, Juneteenth, as a paid holiday in our US offices.
In March 2021, we produced a videocast in Portuguese discussing the challenges that LBTQ women encounter at work. Daniele Botaro, head of Diversity and Inclusion at Oracle in Latin America, and Debora Gepp, who is responsible for Braskem's Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program spoke. They talked about their trajectories as LBTQ women in the corporate world, sharing their insights on how to overcome these adversities in the workplace.
Michael C.H. Chan
Diversity & Inclusion Manager - Asia
Marilia do Amaral Marigi
Global Chief Human Resources Officer
Diversity & Inclusion Manager - Europe
Jeremiah A. DeBerry
Partner, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, US
Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion