Shearman & Sterling has appointed Sandra Bang as its first Chief Diversity & Talent Strategy Officer. Sandra was previously Global Director, Legal Talent Development and drove the firm’s talent recruitment, retention and development programs.
In addition, Shearman & Sterling has established a new Global Diversity & Inclusion Task Force that will be chaired by Senior Partner David Beveridge and includes Sandra Bang, Marcus Franks (Chief Human Resources Officer) and partners Lisa Brill, Denise Grant, Marwa Elborai, Daniel Litowitz, Lorna Chen and Patrick Robbins. Sandra and the Task Force are responsible for developing and implementing the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy and goals, driving cultural change and communicating progress to the firm. The Task Force will be further supported by regional Diversity & Inclusion Committees.
“Driving greater inclusion and diversity at the firm is essential in delivering the diverse teams, multifaceted perspectives and quality of work that our clients expect and the type of environment that our employees need to thrive,” commented Senior Partner David Beveridge. “I’m delighted to congratulate Sandra on her promotion. Her impressive drive, experience and demonstrated track record of achieving results are a huge asset in helping us execute new ways to move forward.”
To that end, the firm engaged the Center for Talent Innovation, a diversity and inclusion consultancy to conduct a firm-wide inclusion diagnostic and provide recommendations to progress our diversity and inclusion efforts. Using the data and recommendations, Sandra and the Task Force will be implementing a number of new initiatives to address the factors that impact career advancement, recognition of achievements and retention of talent for all groups, particularly those traditionally underrepresented at the highest levels of firm leadership.
“We’ve taken a hard look at our data and are applying the findings to create new ways to advance the professional development and career growth opportunities for everyone – and particularly for diverse lawyers and business professionals within the firm,” Sandra said. “It is not enough to develop new initiatives – changing the culture of law firms will have the biggest impact and that is the broader piece we will work on. Continuing to enhance our inclusive and collaborative working environment is essential to provide the cultural change needed so that everyone is performing to their highest potential. This will help us attract and retain the best talent and ensure that we continue to provide high quality client service.”
Sandra was previously a litigation lawyer both in private practice and for the Canadian government. She joined Shearman & Sterling as the Director of Partner and Counsel Services in 2008. She began serving as the firm’s Global Director of Legal Talent Development in 2010 and led the professional development, legal recruitment, and partner and counsel services teams. During her time at the firm Sandra has accomplished much, most notably launching the Associate Leadership Academy (ALA), a leadership program for high potential associates and future leaders of the firm. Now in its seventh year, the ALA program has seen 21% of its participants promoted to counsel and 12.6% appointed to the partnership. Sandra speaks at conferences hosted by, among others, the New York City Bar Association, the Professional Development Consortium, the Professional Development Institute, the Association for Legal Career Professionals, and various law schools. She is also a certified executive coach, having completed the Advanced Coaching Intensive program at Columbia University. She also served as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for Girls Write Now, the first not-for-profit organization in the U.S. with a mentoring model for New York City public high school girls.