Kem Ihenacho

Kem Ihenacho
Partner and Chair of Leadership Committee

Latham & Watkins
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
Industry: Law Firm
CEO: Richard Trobman

Credentials: LL.B, Cardiff Law School (Hons)

Philosophy: Belong as you are.

Latham & Watkins’ goal is to cultivate an environment in which all colleagues belong as they are. In 2022, the firm held a diversity speaker series with thought leaders and experts in DEI coupled with an allies initiative which helps equip all colleagues with concrete tools to serve as more effective allies for each other.

Recruitment, retention and promotion of top diverse talent has been crucial. Last year, the company had its most diverse summer associate classes — 56 percent female, 49 percent racial/ethnic minority, 12 percent LGBTQ+ and 41 percent first-generation professional. It also wants to build partnerships with high schools including internships and scholarships to help diversify and expand the talent pipeline.

In 2023, the company wants to keep building a culture of inclusion and belonging to make sure diversity is embedded from new hires to the most senior leadership. It also wants to better support various underrepresented lawyers and address unique DEI challenges in regions that are less progressive on DEI, including Continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The greatest challenge is continuing to increase and sustain broad engagement among all of our colleagues around the world. In order to make true progress, we need all of our colleagues to keep inclusion top of mind every day and every time they are interacting with each other. While advancing DEI is absolutely a critical part of our culture and we are fortunate that our colleagues are very committed to this mission, the reality is that it can sometimes be challenging to always keep inclusion top of mind in the midst of busy work schedules. Our task therefore is to stay focused on concrete ways to show nearly 7,000 colleagues in 30 offices how they can incorporate inclusion into their daily habits.