Norton Rose Fulbright announced the expansion of its Global Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (GDIAC) to include the United States.

The council now comprises the chairman or managing partner from EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa region), Australia, Canada, South Africa and the U.S., supported by a local lead diversity partner in each region. U.S. Managing Partner Linda Addison and U.S. Lead Diversity Partner Gina Shishima joined the council in January to complete its global lineup, along with Melbourne partner Sally Macindoe, who became the new global head of diversity and inclusion. In this capacity, Macindoe will chair the expanded GDIAC.

Global Chief Executive Peter Martyr says, “Norton Rose Fulbright has long been implementing local diversity initiatives, but the broadening of the council is the next step in developing and delivering one unified global diversity and inclusion strategy.”

GDIAC is accountable to global management and ensures consistency of effort, purpose, and execution in diversity and inclusion initiatives around the world, while sharing best practices across all offices. The Council has a worldwide vision, with gender diversity and flexible working being two of its key global initiatives. Creating a more linguistically and culturally diverse workforce and responding to individuals’ responsibilities as parents and caregivers are also important parts of the Council’s strategy.

To date, inclusive leadership training and unconscious bias education have been delivered to partners in Australia and the U.S., and will shortly be rolled out to partners globally. In addition to women’s networks, LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies) networks have been launched in London, Canada, and recently across all the Australian offices, with other demographic-specific employee networks set to follow.

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion and chair of GDIAC Sally Macindoe says, “Diversity is business critical; it is not a soft issue. We work in diverse markets with diverse clients; mirroring that diversity internally allows us to understand our clients’ needs and provide better solutions. However, that is only half of the equation. To be a truly inclusive organization is paramount when creating a sustainable workforce of the future. We will harness the goals of the global business, but there is space within that to cater to local markets needs and interests.”