Leading international law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has been recognised for its dedication to increasing diversity in recruitment and promotion practices in the UK.
The firm is one of 18 which has been awarded Mansfield UK certification for the 2022-23 year and sees the UK side of the business join the US side in accreditation, with the firm currently holding certification level 6.0 Plus status in America, having been an early adopter of the process.
The Mansfield Rule aims to ensure firms have considered at least 30 per cent women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for opportunities including leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitches, and senior lateral positions.
Firms taking part in the process also can share its experiences with other member firms to allow for wider collaboration and sharing of best practices.
This is the first year Womble Bond Dickinson UK has been eligible for certification, after signing up to the Mansfield Rule in July 2022 as part of the firm's wider commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion across the firm.
WBD Partner and Diversity & Inclusion Board Sponsor Jessica Tresham said:
"It is a significant accomplishment to be included among the firms who have committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working community that has equitable opportunities for all as part of the Mansfield certification. It is a testament to the entire team at Womble Bond Dickinson who have worked tirelessly to achieve this goal.
The 30% rule is simple and easy to follow; It allows the message to be quickly delivered across the business allowing all to understand it and benefit from its objectives.
By taking a more structured, inclusive approach to advancement and recruitment through the Mansfield framework, we are opening the door wider than ever before, and while there is always more work to do in the area of increasing access, this certification is a huge positive step forward for the firm."
The Mansfield framework was launched in 2017 in the United States and Canada with the aim of accelerating a diverse legal leadership, and data shows early adopter American firms are diversifying their leadership at roughly double the rate of non-Mansfield firms.