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Eversheds Sutherland targets 30% female partnership outside US and launches career development programme for women

                Eversheds Sutherland has set a target of achieving a 30% female partnership by 2021, as well as appointing a new 'gender champion' to lead the firm's efforts to boost diversity. The target applies to Eversheds Sutherland International, which encompasses the legacy Eversheds business outside the US,  and which currently has a 25.5% female partnership. The firm has also appointed global employment  and pensions head Diane Gilhooley as its ‘gender champion’, a new role that will see her lead the firm’s relaunched gender network. Gillhooley will spearhead the firm's new career development programme, Development Plus, which will see female principal associates and other senior professional staff at the firm offered one-on-one bespoke coaching around their career development as part of the programme. Co-CEO Lee Ranson told Legal Week: "We're setting new targets for gender and the leadership team will take direct responsibility for hitting them - it's linked to their remuneration. “The gender network is being invited to look at initiatives that we can pilot over the next 18 months. We now have a female chair and the board is 50% female, so we've got momentum." The new initiatives were announced at the firm’s global relationship firm conference in Atlanta to coincide with International Women’s Day. The firm is also currently considering introducing black, Asian and minority ethnic targets at trainee, associate and partner level as part of a wider overhaul of its diversity strategy, as well as targets for LGBT representation. Eversheds Sutherland International is distinct from its US arm, following the tie-up with US firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan in February 2017. The firm is structured as a company limited by guarantee, with no financial integration between the two arms.