By Elena Donio
Diversity is a business mandate, but it’s also a personal mandate.
At Axiom and elsewhere, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with and learn from colleagues whose frames of reference have been forged by a powerful, diverse set of identities, experiences, and interests. I’ve found that diversity in teams and businesses brings enhanced creativity in problem-solving, innovation, and leadership – all stemming from a group of people who have seen and achieved infinitely more collectively than any one person might draw on alone. Throughout Axiom’s 20 years, we’ve oﬀered lawyers a unique approach to building their careers, based on empowerment, ﬂexibility, choice, and access to some of the most exciting client work in the world.
Strengthening efforts in diversity and inclusion have been among my highest priorities since coming on as CEO. This is why I take particular pride in Axiom’s recently released 2018/2019 Diversity Report. This report reflects our commitment to supporting and building a diverse legal industry and, more broadly, an inclusive place to work.
The very nature of our model has helped us attract and engage a diverse team of lawyers and business leaders, who are passionate about the work we do and the opportunities that diversity brings to our clients.
Over 50% of our US-based lawyers identify as women, and over 30% identify as part of a racial or ethnic minority group. Women make up 51.8% of Axiom corporate employees, 43.6% of Axiom VPs and above, and 40% of our Executive Leadership team.
Law demands specific awareness, nuance, and perspective from its practitioners, and the best legal outcomes come from diverse inputs.
We are not only proud of our diversity – we are proud to have clients who take diversity seriously, value our commitment and results, and partner with us to exceed their own diversity goals. Like our partners, we know that diverse talent and opinions are, and will continue to be, a crucial element of legal and business success.
While we hold ourselves to a high bar, we understand we have more work ahead of us in order to continue to foster and promote a diverse, inclusive work environment.
Our hope is that by sharing our data, we will open up the conversation about how companies can support employees from many different backgrounds, and ultimately create a more diverse world of law and business. At Axiom, we have not yet fulfilled our corporate diversity mandate, nor my personal one, but we are proud of the progress we’ve made so far, and are committed to a journey where inclusion goes beyond gender, race, and ethnicity.
The legal industry needs to reconsider how legal work is structured in order to support inclusion and recruit and retain lawyers from diverse backgrounds.
Axiom’s lawyer bench continues to be more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender than industry standards.
Legal leaders, including Chief Legal Operations Officers from Fortune 100 companies, share actionable insights about how to build a programmatic approach to diversity.