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Diversity - Our contribution to society

Liedekerke’s Diversity Policy
 

At Liedekerke, we are committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting diversity and inclusion. We believe having a diverse workforce and striving for equality will not only improve our impact on society and the community in which we operate, but also improve our firm's culture and performance.
 
We endeavour, on a daily basis, to create an environment at our firm in which people are treated equally and with respect, regardless of their gender, race, religion or belief, disability or age.

We do so by imposing specific diversity policies and procedures in all departments and business units, particularly in the recruitment and evaluation process of both lawyers and support staff, as well as in our relations with suppliers and other third parties.

  • We attract talents from the widest possible pool and make an effort to recruit lawyers and staff members from different backgrounds and nationalities. Our lawyers and staff are from various ethnic backgrounds (currently some 20% of our staff is of non-Belgian origin) and collectively we speak no less than 11 languages. 
 
  • Some of our lawyers work on a voluntary basis at the Royal Institute IRSA, which is the largest Center in Belgium for teaching and education for people with impaired vision, speech and hearing.
 
  • One of our recent flagship Pro Bono projects was the legal support we provided to the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer games. The Games provided a lasting legacy of inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities in Belgium. Read more here.

 

At Liedekerke, we have also been at the forefront of addressing the issue of gender balance in private practice for many years now. Like most firms, we have also struggled to keep talented female lawyers on board and on the partnership track. Through internal policies and an active role in various initiatives (see below), we have been pushing this agenda and are now achieving tangible results. The percentage of female partners has been on the rise; over 65% of our senior associates population, and over 50% of our counsel, are now female. Equally, 50% of our business service managers are female.

For many years now, our firm has participated in and supported a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Women in Law: The Women in Law Program is designed to provide encouragement and support for talented women in law firms. The program brings together women from different disciplines and various fields in small groups to foster and encourage their professional development. Several of our senior associates have participated in this high-level training program consisting of a series of workshops led by a professional facilitator (psychologist, coach, etc.) and a female partner from a participating firm. In this way, it is tailored to meet the needs of talented women from leading law firms.
 
  • Women on Board: The Women on Board initiative is a non-profit association created by five women, one of whom is a former Liedekerke partner, dedicated to promoting women’s access to directorship roles within Belgian enterprises (public and private). Set up in December 2009, Women on Board has now achieved its primary goals of creating a pool of talented women ready to take up board positions, and facilitating access to this pool for Belgian enterprises searching for female directors. Our firm has also contributed by organizing legal seminars on topics such as director's liabilities, responsibilities and remuneration.
 
  • Lex Mundi GOAL: Liedekerke is the exclusive Belgian member of Lex Mundi, the leading global network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries. Retaining highly qualified women lawyers is a priority of Lex Mundi member firms. Lex Mundi Global Opportunities for Advancement and Leadership for Women in the Legal Profession – also known as Lex Mundi GOAL – address this challenge by identifying and providing specific resources to assist firms in the advancement and retention of women within the legal profession.

 

CONTACT

Diversity officer: Christel Van den Eynden