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Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Ropes & Gray LLP
New York, NY
United States

The Firm:

The firm is dedicated to providing a great environment—the utmost collegiality, a common commitment to excellence in client service, mutual trust and respect, and a diverse and world-class partnership and workforce. Diversity has long been an essential part of our firm identity. We are committed to fostering an inclusive community of professionals of all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations and family structures.

As a reflection of this commitment, Ropes has garnered many external awards and accolades. In the 2019 Vault survey, Ropes & Gray ranked number eight for overall diversity, marking the 10th consecutive year the firm has been ranked in the top ten. For the past ten years, the firm has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, earning designation as a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality." Yale Law Women's Top Ten Family Friendly Firms survey recognized Ropes for Gender Equity (2016-2018). Ropes was named one of the top 10 “Best Law Firms for Women” by Law360 (2017 and 2018).

The Role:

Ropes & Gray is seeking an experienced executive to provide diversity and inclusion vision and leadership, and play a significant role in setting and executing the firm’s diversity goals. The Director of Diversity and Inclusion (“Diversity Director”) will lead the development, implementation and championing of proactive diversity and inclusion initiatives in support of the firm’s diversity mission and strategic plan. The position is a broad, highly matrixed, visible and strategic role. Reporting to the Director of Attorney Talent Development, the Diversity Director will be the primary point of contact and support for the firm's Diversity Committee. The Diversity Director will work collaboratively and closely with firm leaders, including the Policy Committee, practice group leaders, leaders of the affinity groups and the Women’s Forum, the CHRO, and the directors in human resources to plan, communicate and implement new strategies for hiring, retaining and promoting the firm’s diverse talent.

The position is open to our Boston and New York City offices.

Essential Functions:

1. Provide Strategic Leadership

- Advise firm leadership with respect to the firm’s global diversity & inclusion strategy.
- Provide vision, intellectual leadership, coordination, and strategic planning for the design and implementation of a firm-wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan. The development, implementation and operationalization of the plan will depend on collaboration with various departments and groups within the firm.
- Hand in hand with the Diversity Committee co-chairs, lead the Diversity Committee to promote transformation and excellence across the firm; ensure the goals of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan are prioritized, operationalized and successfully implemented.
- Partner with global firm leadership to ensure the strategic plan reflects and informs the firm’s diversity and inclusion mission and goals across all of the firm’s national and international offices.

2. Oversee Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

- Partner with practice group leaders, attorney development partners, attorney development managers and recruiting to recruit, develop, retain and promote the firm’s diverse talent.
- Collaborate with Attorney Development, Human Resources directors and CHRO to ensure diversity and inclusion is embedded as part of the firm’s talent development model, including attorney performance reviews, hours analyses, staffing, pipeline management and promotion process.
- Partner with Attorney Development to oversee firm’s diversity dashboard initiative and diversity advocate program.
- Provide consulting and coaching expertise in support of the firm’s diversity and inclusion mission, including with partners and associates, as well as with firm leadership.
- Collaborate with the Women’s Forum partner leadership and business support to develop and implement strategic goals related to the hiring, retaining and advancing of women.
- Oversee the firm’s affinity networks to ensure programming and initiatives are aligned with needs of diverse attorneys.
- Serve as a champion and steward of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and a subject matter expert:
- Embrace diversity and inclusion as a firm opportunity and strength and make recommendations on how to maximize this firm strength;
- Respond to identified needs to maintain an intentional and sustained focus on achieving inclusion;
- Serve as an articulate and results-oriented catalyst for change throughout the firm;
Inspire the firm to achieve new levels of expertise and confidence through the use of diversity and inclusion best practices;
- Be the public face of D&I for the firm:
- Develop relationships with local, national and international leaders by representing the firm at civic, professional meetings, and conferences as well as facilitating connections for others in firm leadership;
- Respond thoughtfully to surveys and other outside requests;
- Promote a positive image and ensure positive external relationships by developing partnerships with our clients and broader communities that advance diversity and inclusion efforts which enhance the mission of the firm. In this capacity, serve as the key diversity and inclusion relationship partner to clients and outside organizations.
- Maintain and promote best practices, benchmarking, and current trends in diversity and inclusion.
- Develop metrics in partnership with HR Data Analytics to inform strategic planning and decision making and to ensure accountability in tracking and monitoring diversity and inclusion initiatives; develop and analyze actionable metrics that support the firm’s needs and strategic insights regarding diversity and inclusion initiatives.
- Work with Practice Development and Business Development to ensure diversity and inclusion are reflected in client-facing and other practice group and business development activities.
- Contribute to efforts across the firm and various departments to ensure diversity and inclusion principles are embedded in the policies and practices of business support.
- Create, oversee and manage to the annual diversity budget.

3. Develop, Manage and Retain Diversity Team

The Diversity Director must be a proven leader with experience developing a cohesive, high performing team. The Diversity Director will manage his or her teams’ work loads, give frequent feedback on their performance and address any performance issues, as well as advise and provide guidance on their day-to-day responsibilities.


- Bachelor’s degree required; J.D. or other relevant advanced degree a plus.
- 10-15 years of prior in-depth, relevant experience in the diversity area at a peer law firm or professional services firm.
- Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills:
- Able to inspire trust and lead diversity team, think creatively, take initiative and plan and execute complex projects and initiatives.
- Must be able to set goals and take responsibility for achieving them, to establish credibility with partners and firm leadership and bring to bear the right mix of confidence, tact and persistence when working with the firm's lawyers and business support professionals.
- Energetic orientation; driven to and energized by accomplishment; able to be agent of change.
- Possess sound judgment; able to respect, protect and maintain highly confidential and sensitive information.
- Highly skilled project manager:
- Ability to manage projects of varying complexity, responding quickly and positively to shifting demands and opportunities while also continuing to service the firm’s clients, lawyers and business support professionals and lead the diversity team.
- Ability to assimilate information quickly in order to grasp larger concepts as well as details.


Normal office environment. Incumbent is expected to work the hours necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. Expected to travel among the firm's offices.

The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of essential functions, responsibilities or requirements.