Shearman & Sterling adds Meta leader as first diversity and inclusion chief

Loretta Pearce joins firm in New York following stints at Facebook parent company and Moody’s

Loretta Pearce Image courtesy of Shearman & Sterling

US law firm Shearman & Sterling has added a former leader at Meta as its first chief diversity and inclusion officer. 

Loretta Pearce has joined the firm in New York following a year-long stint at Meta, parent company of Facebook, where she led the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) global talent management programs. 

In her new role, Pearce will have responsibility for Shearman & Sterling’s global D&I strategy.

“Diversity and inclusion is a key priority of the firm that has benefited our people, our clients and our firm culture as a whole,” said David Beveridge, Shearman & Sterling senior partner. “Loretta’s experience, thought leadership and track record position her exceptionally well for this role. She brings innovative ideas that will help us continue to foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace where all our people can thrive.”

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Pearce spent six years at Moody’s Corporation leading diversity and inclusion programming and learning efforts before joining Meta. Earlier in her career she served in leadership roles, again relating to professional development and D&I, at Washington DC law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. 

“During my professional life I’ve always been an advocate for people and believe that all should have the opportunity to work in spaces where they can flourish,” said Pearce. I’m excited to be a part of one of the world’s top law firms and have the opportunity to lead its diversity and inclusion efforts.” 

Shearman was one of 118 law firms to achieve Mansfield Rule 4.0 certification last September following a year-long collaboration with Diversity Lab. The programme is designed to grow the racial and ethnic diversity of firms’ management committees so that at least 30% of candidates are from underrepresented groups. 

Pearce’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. 

Another US firm to have added a D&I leader recently is Vinson & Elkins, which earlier this year added former New York City Bar diversity lead Deborah Martin Owens as its global director of D&I from Sidley Austin.  

And last September Squire Patton Boggs announced the managing partner of its US LLP, Frederick Nance, would lead its newly-created office for DEI, intended to help the firm incorporate DEI principles into its strategy and management decisions.   

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