Marc Wintgens, board member at AKD, has been appointed Head of Diversity & Inclusion of the firm. His appointment is part of AKD’s mission to create a firm-wide long-term diversity and inclusion plan
More than just a fancy text on our website
“We are putting a lot of effort into making our firm more diverse and inclusive, which is far from an easy job”, according to Marc. He continues: “Diversity & Inclusion is more than just a policy document and a fancy text on our external website. We feel that what we are currently doing is not enough. Diversity and Inclusion must become ingrained in our firm’s culture and in the choices we make”.
Marjan Oskam, Head of HR at AKD adds: “We know that we will not have a proportional gender ratio in our partner group next year – this will take time. But we are doing our best to increase the number of female partners. And that goes beyond a quota. This is about culture - behavioral change. This takes time as well. We do, however, want diversity and inclusion, and the discussion about it, to penetrate all parts of our firm: lawyers, tax advisers, civil-law notaries and support alike”.
The appointment of Marc as Head of Diversity & Inclusion is a sign of commitment and of the importance of this theme for AKD. For example, AKD aims to have doubled the number of female Equity Partners by 2024, and to have more women in key positions such as Management, Supervisory Board and as industry leaders. There is more. For example, AKD has partnered up with the Forward Foundation and has signed the EQUAL in LEGAL Statement. A Diversity & Inclusion committee is due to be established, and in AKDMY, AKD’s in-house academy, they will pay more attention to "unconscious bias" and other training courses that contribute to these changes.
“But it starts with behaviour and culture”, Marc continues. “This is why we will raise the discussion about diversity, inclusion and behaviour more and more often. Together with all our colleagues in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, we want to be one firm where everyone can be themselves and get the best out of themselves. It won’t be an easy job, but we are looking forward to it!”