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Hogan Lovells: Unconscious bias workshop delivered globally

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Find out how enei delivered Unconscious Bias training globally.

Company Information        

Hogan Lovells employs 2,500 lawyers on six continents, and 5,000 employees in 40 offices, providing practical legal solutions wherever your work takes you. They help identify and mitigate risks and make the most of opportunities. They offer extensive experience and insights gained from working in some of the world's most complex legal environments and markets for corporations, financial institutions, and governments.

They are a high-performing global team with people from different backgrounds, perspectives and life experiences. Giving back to communities and society is fundamental to good business. And, it’s part of their core.

They are advocates of justice, equality, and opportunity. Everyone at Hogan Lovells is asked to volunteer at least 25 hours a year as part of their normal work duties. Around the world, their people are making a difference through pro bono activities, community investment, and social justice.

The Challenges Faced

There were some concerns about the number of women reaching partnership level – with approx. 50/50 at junior level, but at partnership around 20%. The initial assumption was that it was just in relation to rates of attrition, however on further exploration they had to consider rates of promotion, systems, culture, unconscious bias and other differences between men and women in the work environment.

Innovative Actions Taken

enei was commissioned to deliver a series of Unconscious Bias workshop for the partners and business service heads across the international firm.

enei undertook a familiarisation process of interviewing key stakeholders, eliciting best practice within the organisation as well as areas of concern in relation to diversity and inclusion. As a result, enei created a tailored programme for Hogan Lovells with case studies that resonated within the organisation, with each one relevant to the region in which the Unconscious Bias session was being delivered.

The interactive facilitation based workshops were designed to provide Partners with an opportunity to explore issues as they see them playing out within the firm and to respond to these by committing to personal actions.

The course consisted of the following objectives:

  1. Identify possible types of Unconscious Bias within the business
  2. Understand the psychological reasons for bias
  3. Understand possible negative impacts on decision-making in recruitment, career development opportunities and performance appraisal
  4. Apply techniques to minimise unconscious bias in decision-making
  5. Action planning for change

Definitive Outcomes

A total of 400 partners have attended the training to date.

Feedback from attendees identified the following:

  • The training was well received
  • The style of training was very good
  • The trainers all knew their subject matter
  • The tailored case studies were really relevant and resonated within the workshops

Evidence of Impact

  • Thinking more consciously about D&I - people generally are more conscious of bias within the organisation.
  • Partners are more aware of the role they have to play in relation to being inclusive leaders and the need to eradicate bias.
  • Diversity and inclusion objectives now are part of each practice group’s business plan.
  • There is now evidence of action plans and objectives on D&I , including partners allocated in each area to support this agenda.
  • Globally, there has been an increase in the number of women in partnership and in the future partner pipeline.
  • They have reviewed systems such as work allocation and performance appraisals to eradicate bias in systems.

The Global Diversity and Inclusion Committee, along with regional diversity teams throughout the world, are embracing fundamental change by embedding diversity and inclusion into everything they do. For example, they have conducted mandatory Unconscious Bias training, and their global agile working policy provides opportunity for all their people to request flexibility for any reason. They have made significant progress toward their goal of having a quarter of their partners to be women, currently 24%. They have set that target at 30 percent by 2022.

They are widening access to the legal profession for ethnically diverse, traditionally underrepresented, and LGBT students through youth engagement programs. And their network and affinity groups give those who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession a chance to build relationships that will help them grow professionally.

They embrace inclusivity, educate on differences, and celebrate the unique value of each of their people. Everyone at Hogan Lovells has the opportunity to develop, excel, and lead.