Chair — Covington & Burling LLP
I, Doug Gibson, personally commit to the following:
- I commit to using my voice as Chair of the Management Committee of Covington to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in my firm and the legal profession.
- I will sponsor the firm’s D&I Strategic Plan, which includes (1) incorporating diversity and inclusion into firm leadership and practice group priorities, (2) developing, promoting, and retaining a more diverse population at all levels and across all offices, and (3) partnering with clients to advance our mutual interests in diversity and inclusion.
- I will ensure that we make measurable progress against the firm’s D&I Strategic Plan over the next two years.
- I will meet at least quarterly with the firm’s D&I co-chairs, Affinity Group leaders, and our Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer to champion initiatives aimed at diverse talent both inside and outside the firm, paying particularly close attention to how the firm is doing in recruiting, retaining, and promoting racially and ethnically diverse associates and LGBT+ associates.
- I will reinforce the importance of our D&I efforts as part of meetings among the firm’s senior lawyers, and I will ensure the firm communicates at least quarterly to the Covington community regarding our firm’s diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and strategy.
- I will continue to identify and encourage consideration by the partnership of diverse candidates for membership on the firm’s Management Committee whenever there are opportunities to elect new members.
- I will use my position among my firm’s leadership to ensure equity in our talent policies and processes, including partner hiring and compensation.
- I will meet with a broad group of diverse attorneys, affinity group members, and LCLD program participants (including Fellows, Pathfinders, and alumni) to understand their experiences at the firm and whether there are areas for improvement.
- I will further my personal learning and growth about the experiences of those underrepresented in the firm and the legal profession through participation in the firm’s D&I events and programs.
- I will engage an external expert on diversity, race, and gender in the workplace to speak with me and the rest of the Management Committee to further our education.
- Covington will ensure accountability and self-reflection through an annual review of the firm’s progress against our D&I Strategic Plan, utilizing quantitative diversity metrics and qualitative data, i.e., exit interviews, focus groups.
- As part of ensuring that D&I is a continued focus and priority for the firm, Covington will direct practice group leadership to continue to work closely with our D&I professional staff to monitor and promote diversity within the practice.
- Covington will continue to require practice group leaders to articulate D&I goals in their strategic plans and their routine meetings with the Management Committee and encourage senior lawyers to feature D&I objectives as part of their annual goals planning.
- Covington will encourage the attendance of firm leaders in the firm’s Global Inclusion Summit.
- Covington will maintain Mansfield Rule Certification and ensure the application of Mansfield’s criteria to create more opportunities for hiring, leadership, and promotion for historically underrepresented attorneys.
- Covington will provide all associates and counsel with up to 50 hours per year of billable hour credit for eligible activities and leadership that advance the firm’s D&I efforts.
- Covington will celebrate the successes of our diverse lawyers, ensuring that we give them visibility within the firm and beyond.
- Covington will ensure focus on recruiting diverse talent, with close attention to racially and ethnically diverse and LGBT+ summer, incoming, and lateral associates—and increase investment in pipeline programs and fellowships for diverse law students.
- Covington will devote additional resources to improve the experiences of diverse junior and mid-level associates to enhance retention and provide developmental opportunities.
- Covington will ensure our D&I efforts are inclusive of our professional staff, including increasing diversity at the senior levels of our professional staff through development, promotion, and hiring.
- Covington will continue to focus on ensuring that recruiting, work allocation, performance feedback, compensation, and promotion are equitable, accessible, and inclusive.
- Covington will require annual implicit bias training and provide enhanced bias training to key talent committees and roles, including those focused on talent evaluation, hiring, and work assignment.
- Covington will embed essential D&I competencies, such as inclusive leadership, developmental mindset, antiracism, allyship, and wellbeing, into core training modules across the organization.
- Covington will continue to prioritize and enhance our D&I learning and leadership programs through external partners or organizations, including LCLD Fellows and Pathfinders and Charting Your Own Course (CYOC) Conference.
- Covington will continue to integrate diversity into all areas of our marketing and business development work, for example, working with senior lawyers and firm management to have pitch teams reflect the diversity of the firm and emphasizing to senior lawyers that the teams on any matters secured in response to a pitch should likewise be diverse.
- Covington will organize and participate in discussions with clients about our firm’s commitment to D&I and pursue specific initiatives for partnering with clients to pursue shared goals in this area.
- Covington will continue to focus on client succession plans to ensure that lawyers identified to succeed senior partners reflect the diversity of the firm.
- Covington will continue to commit significant firm resources consistently—through our financial contributions, pro bono work, and programs—to causes that help alleviate systemic racial inequality and social injustice in our communities.