HFW strengthens diversity strategy after missing 2020 gender targets

updated on 09 December 2020

City firm HFW has announced a new gender equality strategy, vowing that at least 40% of senior lateral hires over the next three years will go to women, after missing its 2020 gender targets.

The firm also pledged that 50% of the lawyers on its pre-partnership development programme will be women.

HFW Managing Partner Jeremy Shebson said: “When we started as a new management team in April 2019, one of the first things we did was to undertake a fairly wide-ranging review of various aspects of our business, including diversity and gender equality.

“During our review, it quickly became clear that we were going to fail to achieve our target of having at least 30% female fixed-share partners by 2020. While we have made real and measurable progress as a firm since that target was set in 2015 – we've gone from 17% female fixed-share partners to 27% over that period – things were not moving quickly enough and we agreed as a board that a fresh approach was required in order to drive the meaningful change that we're all seeking.”

This year has seen several firms reveal new diversity targets. Dentons launched its ‘Accelerating Race Strategy Plan’, Norton Rose Fulbright announced new targets, including 25% of its trainee intake to be from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds by 2025, and magic circle firm Linklaters revealed plans to improve partnership diversity and train 100% of its employees on anti-racism.