1 Who_Diversity

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity is a core part of our identity. We are a global law firm with more than 2,300 people located in more than 20 countries. We have offices in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and the United Kingdom, which means Kennedys is incredibly diverse by nature.

We are proud that Kennedys is made up of individuals who come from all over the world and bring with them their own cultures, languages, backgrounds and experiences. We embrace, value and celebrate difference because we understand that diverse perspectives and experiences help us solve the toughest challenges and make us a better law firm.

Our vision

We view diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) as a key priority. At Kennedys, we understand that it is crucial to represent the diversity of our people, our clients and our communities. In line with our core values of being approachable, straightforward, supportive and distinctive, we aim to create an inclusive culture in which everyone, regardless of their background, identity or circumstance, is celebrated, can be their authentic selves and thrive at work.

Building a diverse and inclusive firm is essential for our future success. It will help us to attract and retain the best talent, drive innovation, and deliver the best experience for our people and clients.

Our commitment

We are committed to increasing the representation of women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and people with disabilities across the firm, in senior management positions and at partnership level.

  • In 2020 we achieved our 30% female partnership goal and have further set a goal of 40% female partnership by 2030.
  • We aim for 10% of those promoted to the partnership in the UK to come from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds each year.
  • We have taken part in the Mansfield Rule each year since 2021 both in the US and the UK and achieved Mansfield Certification Plus status. The Mansfield Rule is a 12-month certification process that measures whether law firms have considered at least 30% women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership positions.
  • In 2023 we pledged to further promote disability inclusion by signing the Diversity Lab’s Disability Inclusion Commitments.

As a firm, we are proud of what we have achieved so far but also recognise that more needs to be done and our DE&I journey is not complete.

Our Global DE&I Strategy (2022-2025) focuses on four pillars:

  • Employee lifecycle
  • Data collection, analysis and monitoring
  • Inclusive culture
  • Inclusive leadership

Partnerships, Sponsorships and Certifications

We work with a number of expert organisations to help us achieve our DE&I goals. Explore our extensive range of partnerships and affiliations here.

Diversity in action

We have developed programmes and initiatives to foster an inclusive work environment, encourage open discussion and raise awareness on diversity issues. Below are some key highlights. To learn more about what we are doing to advance DE&I at Kennedys, please download our Sustainability Report from our Responsible Business webpage.

Celebrating with Our Colleagues: The Celebrating with Our Colleagues series aims to highlight and celebrate the diversity that exists within our firm, and to enable us all to learn more about the varying cultures and religious traditions that are near and dear to the hearts of our people. In the past, Kennedys has celebrated Eid al-Fitr, Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Pride, and other cultural, religious traditions, annual observances, and international days.

Let’s Start the Conversation: This is an internal event series where we invite external guest speakers to talk about difficult topics affecting marginalised communities. We’ve hosted conversations on anti-racism in the workplace, islamophobia, the career progression of Black partners, colourism, domestic violence, mental health, and the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the workplace, and more.

Reciprocal Mentoring: Reciprocal mentoring is one way to help us drive inclusion, raise awareness of differing experiences and ensure all of our talent, regardless of race, ethnicity or heritage, thrives at Kennedys. The reciprocal mentoring scheme at Kennedys aims to foster mutually beneficial relationships between junior colleagues from ethnically diverse backgrounds and more senior colleagues.

Social mobility and widening access to the legal profession: We deliver a range of initiatives that aim to support pupils who wouldn’t otherwise have access to opportunities to experience the world of work. We provide mentoring, insight days, networking events, and work experience for students who have ambitions to pursue careers in the legal sector but may lack the networks and connections. We use the RARE contextual recruitment system in the UK as part of our trainee recruitment process. This allows us to access excellent candidates who may otherwise get overlooked.

For more information about our different routes into Kennedys please visit our early careers page.

Dive In Festival: We continue to be a global partner of the Dive In Festival – a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures. By engaging in this global event, held across more than 30 countries, we actively support and learn from initiatives that drive positive change and create equitable opportunities for all.

Women in Business series: We host Women in Business series events and run internal diversity campaigns to raise awareness.

DE&I advisory groups: Our DE&I Advisory Groups are our regional business resource groups. They act as a sounding board for the firm’s DE&I initiatives and activities. This group of employees meets regularly to share their ideas, discuss new initiatives, and advise on what more Kennedys could be doing to drive the firm’s DE&I strategy.

Affinity networks: Kennedys’ Networks are an opportunity for people to network with individuals with shared interests or identities. They provide employees with the chance to connect, interact, thrive, and grow with like-minded people within the firm. These groups are voluntary, employee-led initiatives which support our firm’s DE&I strategy, aiming is to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.

  • Parents and Carers Together: a network for anyone with a caring responsibility which aims to provide both a support and advocacy function for colleagues.
  • Rainbow Network: a global network for LGBTQ+ employees and allies.
  • Embrace Network: a cultural and ethnic diversity network which aims to advance racial inclusion and celebrate heritage and cultural differences.
  • Women@Kennedys Australia: a network for women and allies seeking to celebrate the professional achievements and successes of women in the workplace and to raise awareness of gender equality initiatives.
  • Muslim Network: a network for Muslim employees and allies.
  • Disability and Neurodiversity Discussion and Impact (DANDI) Network: Coming soon.

Key contacts

Marianne joined Kennedys in 2021 as our Senior Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager, and manages our DE&I programmes and initiatives around the world.


Gender pay reports

UK Gender Pay Report 2023

Download the report
Businesswoman Introduction

Diversity statistics

2023 England diversity statistics

Download the report
Elaborate Structure 2