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Matthew Layton

A D V I C E   T O   M Y   Y O U N G E R   S E L F
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The challenges faced by businesses have never been so complex, nuanced or international. Delivering the best possible solutions for clients requires a team of people from a wide range of backgrounds who can offer different perspectives and diverse opinions. There are ethical reasons for fostering diversity, but it also makes fundamental business sense.

Law firms increasingly understand the importance of developing teams that match the diversity of their clients. Clifford Chance has a longstanding commitment to sustainable improvement to our gender balance. Progress is being made, but the fact remains that we, and the profession, are not as diverse as we ought to be. There is more work to do.

To improve, we must integrate our commitment into every aspect of our decision making. This means aligning our priorities for diversity and inclusion with the firm’s high-level commercial strategy, as well as its day-to-day business activities. Women and men must have equal opportunities to do the substantive legal and client development work that is critical to their success.

Of course, strong leadership is essential, with senior management setting clear expectations, closely monitoring progress, embedding an inclusive culture and acting as sponsors and mentors for talent across the whole firm. In particular, we need role models: individuals who are willing to share their advice and experiences to support and inspire those embarking on their careers. It’s no small commitment, but there are many passionate people who have taken on the task.

You’ve now read some of their stories. Hopefully, they will help you to write your own.

Managing Partner, Clifford Chance