Linklaters launches second round of reverse mentoring following successful pilot

Following a successful pilot, Linklaters has launched a second round of its reverse mentoring scheme aimed at helping partners and directors gain a deeper understanding of different people’s perspectives and experiences, and create a culture of inclusion at the firm.

The pilot last year involved mentees from the firm’s Partnership Board and Executive Committee, with participation from London, Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Beijing and Dubai. Due to high levels of interest, the second round was opened to applications from all partners and Business Teams Directors globally.

 

This year’s scheme, which will run from April to October 2019, will include 34 pairings from a range of offices including London, Dubai, Germany, Washington and Hong Kong.

Reverse mentoring flips the traditional mentoring relationship model on its head, with junior mentors sharing their personal experience and insights with a more senior mentee. The goal is to challenge both mentor and mentee to stand in someone else’s shoes, listen to new ideas and adopt new perspectives.

Submissions for the mentor role were welcomed from lawyers, business teams and secretaries across the globe, particularly from individuals who identify themselves as being from an under-represented group, including those from minority ethnic groups, LGBT+ and lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Both Gideon Moore, Firmwide Managing Partner, and Charlie Jacobs, Senior Partner at Linklaters, who took part in the scheme last year have committed to participating again this year.

Charlie Jacobs, Senior Partner at Linklaters, said: “Reverse mentoring exceeded all my expectations. It gave me a unique opportunity to build a relationship with a junior colleague, from a different background, in a different team who I may not otherwise have met. I gained a better understanding of other people’s perspectives, particularly within our BAME community, and I was also able to share my experiences of coming up through the firm.”

David Martin, Global Diversity Partner at Linklaters, said: “Developing our knowledge and understanding of a broad range of people within Linklaters is a vital part of our strategy to create a diverse and inclusive environment. Reverse mentoring encourages those who participate to take a step back from their current perceptions, enhancing relationships with new colleagues they may not otherwise have met and providing the opportunity to contribute to real change. I look forward to taking part in the scheme this year and engaging with the insights and perspective of my own mentor.”

Kate Richardson-Moore, Global Head of Talent and Engagement, said: “As one of the first law firms to implement reverse mentoring with a specific diversity focus, we’ve learnt a lot about how these relationships can spark meaningful discussions and increase awareness of inclusion. Following a successful pilot, we’ve been able to share our experience and lessons learnt with a number of leading corporates and organisations taking a similar approach.”