Colin has been an active force in promoting gender balance and equality and has helped Simmons & Simmons achieve an 11% increase in the percentage of female partners. He is a Senior Ally for the Allies Network and has worked towards improving gender diversity by focusing on helping more women progress through to partnership and into senior management positions. He chairs quarterly gender balance meetings and has started a reverse mentoring partnership with his female BAME partner lead to gain a personal insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by diverse colleagues across the firm.
During his tenure as Senior Partner, Colin has made gender diversity a priority business issue, leading the firm to greater positive action to progress more women through to the partnership and into senior management positions. Under Colin’s leadership the percentage of female partners has increased from 12% to 18%, and 33% of the elected members on Simmons & Simmons’ Board are female. He is also championing the roll out of firm wide, mandatory Inclusive Leadership & Unconscious Bias training. Colin is the partner sponsor for 3 female partners and mentors 2 trainees. Externally, in March, Colin spoke on a panel at the 2nd annual Women in Finance conference. The session was entitled: “What next? …practices to effectively engage men in implementation of your gender diversity programmes.”, where he used the platform to discuss steps that Simmons & Simmons have taken towards gender balance.
Colin has implemented an aspirational target that women will make up 30% of all their Managing Associate and partner promotions each year. He has also amended the Partner Remuneration process to ensure a greater emphasis and accountability for people development. Colin was central to setting up the mentoring scheme, in which all Managing Associates are matched with a partner sponsor who acts as a guide to support and champion them in the workplace. He currently has two mentees, one female and one male, and is focused on providing them with equal opportunities. Externally, the firm is involved with a sector-wide female mentoring scheme, and Colin volunteered to be one of three senior mentors. He is also involved with external diversity committees, and ensures that gender diversity is always on the firm’s agenda.