The development programme aims to help BAME staff advance their careers and to help the firm understand and overcome any barriers to progression.
As part of Linklaters’ diversity and inclusion efforts, the programme is designed to help identify how differences can be harnessed to drive transformational inclusive culture change. The programme has been developed in conjunction with Dr Doyin Atewologun from Delta Alpha Psi, a leadership and diversity consultancy. Running for nine months, the programme will use behavioural sciences to increase engagement and empowerment through a series of workshops, coaching sessions and online resources. A feature of this programme is that it brings together participants with their line managers and partners, enabling dialogue across demographic differences. It is also a chance for those in management positions to improve their race fluency, race confidence and race thinking, helping to support career development and drive culture change in the firm.
Opening up dialogue
The syllabus offers participants the opportunity to challenge leadership practice, learn new techniques to achieve high quality feedback and identify a strategy for onward development. Charlie Jacobs, senior partner at Linklaters and sponsor of the programme, said ‘we're taking an approach that is possibly unusual for our sector. Talking about race or ethnicity or personal backgrounds is something that a lot of people don’t find easy to do. But we’ve seen that opening up these conversations has given us a real insight. It’s allowed us to understand where we’ve come from, what drives us and how we do certain things could hold some people back.’ The programme will run until June 2019. 14 lawyers and 5 business team members have been selected to take part from five offices.