BCLP adds former Baker McKenzie recruiter in Chicago as US diversity director

Devin Carter succeeds Tonya Gaskins with mandate to evolve BCLP’s D&I programmes in the US

Devin Carter Image courtesy of BCLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Painser (BCLP) has appointed a new US director of diversity and inclusion. 

Devin Carter has joined the firm in Chicago from consultancy AlixPartners and previously worked in diversity at firms including Baker McKenzie and McKinsey. 

Her arrival will see Tonya Gaskins, who currently works as BCLP’s US D&I manager, move into a new role as senior emerging talent manager. 

“We are delighted to welcome Devin to BCLP,” said global director of D&I and recruitment, Lloyd Stephenson. “Devin’s keen insight and wealth of experience will be vital to creating and advancing I&D initiatives that support our broader people strategy and how this will help drive the performance of our firm in the future.”

At BCLP, Carter will oversee the diversity and inclusion programs relating to the firm’s US employees, partners and clients, working with the US affinity groups and the co-chairs of the global diversity and inclusion board, Meridyth Andresen and Segun Osuntokun, to coordinate and deliver on the global diversity strategy.

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At AlixPartners, Carter led diversity initiatives including the MBA Scholarship for Achievement programme, which is targetted at women and members of underrepresented communities interested in careers in consulting. Before that she spent seven years in diversity and recruiting at Baker McKenzie, where she grew the number of diverse hires year on year and helped launch a number of initiatives including a sponsorship programme for mid-level diverse associates to drive better retention of talent. Earlier she also worked in recruiting and diversity roles at McKinsey, ZS Associates and Allstate Insurance.

Cater’s hire comes amid increasing focus on D&I in the legal profession, not least because a poor record can harm reputations and bottom lines. A number of businesses, including Nokia and Novartis, have introduced measures to assess diversity among their panel law firms and will potentially withhold fees should they fall short. 

A recent report by Thompson Reuters also found that US associates will sometimes turn down job offers if the firm in question has failed to create a clear statement on their values and priorities and how that will be implemented.

Another senior US diversity hire recently was that of Loretta Pearce, who left Facebook parent Meta to join Shearman & Sterling in New York last summer as its first chief diversity and inclusion officer. 

And last April Vinson & Elkins added Deborah Martin Owens, former New York City Bar diversity lead, as its global director of D&I from Sidley Austin.


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