Microsoft has introduced a pioneering financial bonus scheme to reward its 17 panel firms for hitting diversity targets.
The IT giant has rolled out a new initiative that will see panel firms such as Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell opt in to one of two systems. These will see firms receive a 2 per cent bonus if they meet diversity targets.
Firms can opt for one of two formulas to measure their progress on diversity. They will get the bonus if they achieve a 2 per cent increase in the diversity of their teams working for Microsoft, or if they achieve a 0.5 per cent increase in the diversity of the firm as a whole.
Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said: “Diversity in our legal teams is a business necessity. We best serve Microsoft through a highly talented, committed, diverse and collegial group of legal specialists, working as part of effective teams.”
A spokesperson added: “Microsoft ;is ;not attempting to criticise the effort of the legal profession around diversity. We see this programme as an evolution of the many efforts that have come before us to drive for lasting long-term success and ensuring we see greater progress as a result.”