Director–Diversity & Inclusion
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA & New York, NY
Business: Legal Services
With 27 Dechert offices worldwide, diversity and inclusion are core components of the firm’s identity, and how it attracts, recruits, and develops people. As an integral part of the firm’s culture and business strategy, D&I shapes personal commitments and guiding principles.
Dechert strives to develop and integrate diversity goals and strategies into all business processes and practices, while building a better, stronger firm. Some recent accomplishments include:
- The announcement of Dechert’s membership in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity; the firm pledged to “use all means available to realize a truly diverse profession”
- The design and launch of a diversity dashboard that helps leaders see where things are working effectively, and where more attention is needed
- The launch of the Diversity Champions award, recognizing those who have played the biggest role in supporting a diverse and inclusive culture
- The rollout of inclusive leadership training at the 2018 Partner Retreat.
Dechert continuously tracks and analyzes diversity data to ensure parity and to remedy any inequities across gender. Some important strategies in this area include:
- Application of the Mansfield Rule 2.0 measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered women, LGBTQ+ and minority lawyers (at least 30% of the candidate pool) for promotions, senior-level hiring, and significant leadership roles in the firm
- Inclusive Leadership Training for partners and managers, occurring every six weeks
- Monthly Diversity Dashboard reporting
- Partner Leadership Program– customized leadership development engagements for partners focused on collaboration, communication, effectiveness, leadership challenges, and best opportunities for meaningful growth
Satra Sampson-Arokium, Dechert’s director of diversity and inclusion, leads the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Plan and Professional Development Initiative. She is tackling two of Dechert’s greatest challenges:
- Due to intense competition for diverse legal talent, Dechert’s most significant challenge is to retain its best attorneys. Besides other large, top-tier firms, Dechert competes with other participants in the legal industry (e.g., federal and state governments, and corporate law departments), for top diverse talent.
- In keeping with its Diversity & Inclusion Plan and Professional Development Initiative, Dechert is continuing to build a culture of open communication and transparency about career development and related feedback and advice. The firm is also strengthening ties with its Talent Development and Practice Group Management teams to develop specific tools and training that will help attorneys succeed.