(L-R) Awards host Shadia Bseiso; Sinead Boden, community investment manager, Clyde & Co; awards judge Bruce McAlister, general counsel MENAT, GE

Finalists: Clifford Chance; Dentons (Highly Commended).

Clyde & Co’s long-term commitment to nurturing women into leadership roles earned it this year’s diversity initiative award.

The firm’s gender diversity programme comprises a number of activities such as providing internships for students at universities in the region, including the Prince Sultan University for Women in Saudi Arabia, and an internal training programme that targets up-and-coming female managers. In addition, the firm offers flexible working, support for those with caring responsibilities, extended maternity leave and an equal pay policy. It also offers a maternity buddy system that provides support before, during and after maternity leave.

Those various diversity measures have helped steer female staff into senior positions, with female partnership increasing to 23% in the firm’s Middle East and North Africa offices, and three female partners in the region being promoted to senior equity partners last year. Furthermore, one of the firm’s six partners on the regional management board is a female senior equity partner.

“A very wide range of diversity initiatives, ranging from those aimed at improving the lot of women already in the legal business, to attracting young talent and also day-to-day working life initiatives that reflect awareness of the challenges faced in today’s world,” praised one judge.

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