Herbert Smith Freehills joins Lloyds and Barclays in setting voluntary targets for women at the top

Hot on the heels of Lloyds Bank’s stated goal to reach 40% female representation at all levels of management by 2020, and similar mood music from Barclays, City law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has set a 30% target for the proportion of women in their global partnership, in an effort to increase momentum around inspiring young female lawyers to stay in the firm and strive for partnership.

  Their 30% target will be achieved in two stages:

  • By 1 May 2017, women will comprise 25% of the partnership, and 25% of partner leadership roles;

  • By 1 May 2019, women will comprise 30% of the partnership, and 30% of partner leadership roles.

Herbert Smith Freehills have been one of the firms involved in the 30% Club’s Professional Services Pipeline Group, a collection of firms committed to sharing their internal data and best practise ideas around fixing the ‘leaky’ pipeline of women.

The moves highlight two key areas of focus for the 30% Club – developing the executive pipeline of women and setting voluntary realistic targets for businesses. Creating a better gender balance at all levels requires a sustained, concerted series of talent management efforts that will ultimately modernise working practices for everyone. The 30% Club experience shows how a numeric, measurable goal can provide a useful focal point – one which companies are both becoming aware of and actively implementing. Lloyds, Barclays and Herbert Smith Freehills are the first in what we hope will be a very long line of companies actively managing their female talent and owning their pipeline.