BAHR hired its first female lawyer in the late 1970s and appointed its first female partner in 1997 – 31 years after the firm was founded. Much has changed since then. The firm started 2021 with a 50/50 gender balance for lawyers and business support as a whole. Indeed, the majority of our lawyers are women. 3 of the 8 partners appointed in the last three years are women.
We acknowledge that we have some way to go on diversity. This is about who we want to be. As a law firm assisting leading businesses and other influential members of our society, we need to reflect the diversity of that society to a greater extent.
To us, diversity is about gender, ethnicity and personal identity – and about scope for different ideas, perspectives, personalities and working styles. BAHR as a firm shall capitalise on diverse teams in assisting our clients, because a greater focus on diversity will also inspire innovation and thinking outside the box.
Talent recruitment and development
BAHR’s key competitive advantage as a knowledge-based business is the sum of all our human capital and expertise, and it is imperative that we attract and develop the best talents on the market. A working environment characterised by genuine diversity provides an ideal platform for learning and development for all. BAHR shall be a workplace where all personnel are offered equal development opportunities, and experience a sense of belonging, security and recognition. The recruitment base also needs to change to foster increased ethnic diversity in the legal industry in general and BAHR in particular. It is therefore essential to inspire young people of multicultural backgrounds to study law and subsequently seek a career as commercial lawyers.
Dedicated diversity management
Broadening recruitment and facilitating comprehensive diversity management are key priorities for the owners and managers of BAHR, in order to maintain the firm’s attractiveness as an employer. All personnel shall be given equal opportunities to develop their potential, expertise and careers through individual follow-up and skills development, as well as involvement in serving clients. It is also important for HR processes relating to recruitment, evaluation, promotion, salary and development to be implemented in a manner that actively seeks to eliminate unconscious bias from the equation.
BAHR has defined specific objectives and established a structured process for purposes of strengthening and monitoring the firm’s diversity initiatives and developments. A working group – BAHR Diversity – comprising managers, partners and employees, including business support, has been tasked with organising this process and accompanying measures. Highlighting diversity in the firm’s internal and external communications, as well as measurement and continuous improvement of our personnel’s diversity experiences, will be key priorities for BAHR in the time to come. Another key priority is delivering on client diversity expectations.