16 November 2020: International Day for Tolerance, organized by Fieldfisher Belgium

This event was recorded with the permission of the presenters: https://youtu.be/XTWXHsBk0jw

“The test of courage comes when we are in the minority; the test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.” Ralph W. Sockman

Laurence Vanhée, author and expert in the Human Resources world, spoke about what tolerance means in the workplace and how individuals can strive to encompass tolerance in their activities.

Tolerance can play a big role in our lives and according to Laurence, it can add value and give us a greater sense of purpose. Laurence believes that at the end of the day, tolerance is a sign of great courage. It’s the mark of a profound egoless self confidence. And it makes us a better person in a better world.

Laurence has created a vision for the ideal workplace: the world of work will be much more efficient and sustainable if people are happy. Her core belief and formula for this is “Freedom + Responsibility = Happiness + Performance

13 October 2020 – online webinar: “The Future of Work in a Post COVID-19 Work Environment”, organized by K&L Gates

This event was recorded with the permission of the presenters: https://youtu.be/Eu7VFRjiBTU 

We are currently experiencing an interesting time in our economy around the future of work. In describing the future of work, there are four main aspects that come into play: (i) People will be able to work remotely and with flexible schedules; (ii) New industries and jobs will be created complementary to technology; (iii) There will be more entrepreneurship and self-employment; and (iv) Due to technology advancements, there will be fewer jobs that require humans.

Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 outbreak pointed out that these new working norms are going to become the future. In fact, more and more companies wonder whether people can work effectively and achieve a level of work-life balance in light of these new working conditions. At the same time, there is considerable research showing that diversity can be the answer to these considerations, leading to a significant performance advantage.

As law firms around the world have been forced into an unplanned experiment with remote and flexible working, the webinar will aim to explore what the new COVID-19 reality means for the workforce and how can they embrace the pandemic’s opportunities for learning and thriving in the workplace.

Questions discussed:

  • How can lawyers develop to lead inclusively and remotely in the new normal?
  • What are the mistakes that law firms need to avoid when implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives?
  • Lawyers have to find new ways of solving legal problems with technology. What are the skills that lawyers need to acquire to be competitive?
  • How to nurture a future proof environment that supports diversity and inclusion?
  • How difficult is it for lawyers to adapt to the new digital world?


  • Sunny Kumar, Senior Associate, K&L Gates London, Head of BAME (Black And Minority Ethnic) Network, a sub-committee of K&L Gates Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Nigel Spencer, Senior Client Director and Executive Coach.
  • Anneleen Straetemans, Head of Legal & Corporate Affairs, Europe at ZX Ventures.


Claude-Etienne Armingaud, Partner, K&L Gates Paris, member of the commercial technology and sourcing practice group and a member of K&L Gates Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

29 June 2020 – online webinar: “The many faces of racism in the legal profession”, organized by Nauta Dutilh

At this extraordinary time of global uprising and protests against racism around the world, all sparked by the death of George Floyd in the US, we invited a panel of speakers to take stock of these issues in our sector: speakers shared their views, not just as experts in their fields, but as individuals who have first-hand experience of the challenges faced by people of different ethnic backgrounds here in Belgium.


  • Hassan Al Hilou: he is a leader on radical diversity, inclusive innovative and society transformation with its impact on different sectors.
  • Sana Sellamni: as head of NextGenity Research & Consultancy, she is a renowned expert in the field of diversity and coaching.
  • Enga Kameni: professor at Harvard Law School, teaching finance and banking law, he manages of Legal Services of the African Export-Import Bank.
  • Sevda Karsikaya: as a criminal lawyer, she runs her own law firm. She’s active in the project DIApositief (initiative to promote socioeconomic diversity at the Brussels Bar).
  • Dirk Van Gerven: Dirk is the Managing Partner of NautaDutilh and an enthusiastic defender of diversity.

When talking about the challenges faced by people of color or of a non-autochthonous background, vocabularies are often conflated. There is talk of racism (systemic or otherwise), prejudice, discrimination, bigotry and stereotyping.

For some, these are many faces of a singular problem. For others, these are distinct kind of challenges faced, that merit a separate discussion.

Oftentimes, this question is broached from the perspective of the bystander. It is sometimes argued that without intent to discriminate based on race, an action or inaction should not be called racism that someone might be blamed for. In that vein, an emphasis is sometimes put on creating awareness, of the more implicit or insidious forms of racism, prejudice or bigotry that are face by people of color or by people of a different background.

But in this panel discussion, we wanted to relinquish the point of view of the bystander, but rather ask the persons concerned. Ask in terms of what they think, but first, in terms of what they feel and experience.

Until we have obtained further clarification or disambiguation (if necessary), we will speak of ‘racism’ as metonymous for all the kinds of challenges faced by people of color, in order to facilitate some of our questions.


26 May 2020: Love Around the World & A Global Perspective on Discrimination, organized by Steptoe and Ashurst

During this event, a panel of speakers addressed the topic of discrimination by looking back on the recent International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17, and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21. 

Minority group members often face discriminatory practices in multiple areas of social life, including housing, employment, healthcare, and education, among others. Many might have experienced a situation in which they have found themselves excluded, harassed or treated differently without justification, only because of their biological, physiological or personal characteristics, their origin or language, their abilities, manifestations of belief, or preferences.

Welcome by Kat Van Nuffel, Steptoe, Co-Chair LDIA, and keynote, Love Around the World, by Fleur Pierets

Panel discussion – A Global Perspective on Discrimination with following panelists:

  • Fleur Pierets, Belgian artist, writer and award-winning LGBTQ+ activist
  • Pablo Perez, an international Human Resources and D&I professional
  • Jasmine Cooper, Diversity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Steptoe
  • Justice Mupara, Founder and Operations Manager of Zambezi Africa Tours, based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, with extensive experience both in Southern Africa and Europe


  • Anna Duron, Senior Associate, Ashurst & LDIA Board Member 


8 March 2020: International Women’s Day
LDIA members proudly celebrated the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’s DAY by organizing various events in their respective offices.

See photos.


26 February 2020 – Lunch & Learn series – organized by Hogan Lovells

A special thank you to Hogan Lovells for hosting a lunch & learn session on Generational Diversity in the Workplace – How can Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z Work together? 

Many thanks to the panelists for sharing their insights!

  • Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte
  • Karin Van Baelen
  • Fien Wuyts
  • Gabriele Bollhoefer


31 January 2020 – 1st Anniversary Celebration of the Launch of LDIA

D&I Focus in law firms – 5 key themes

Panel members:

  • Angela Kerek, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
  • Fiona Carlin, Partner, Chief Executive EMEA+, Baker McKenzie
  • Dorothée Vermeiren, Partner, Clifford Chance
  • Jay Wetterau, Head of Inclusiveness and Diversity, Fieldfisher
  • Nele Van Kerrebroeck, Managing Associate Employment & Incentives, Linklaters
  • Charlotte Yirrell, Diversity and Inclusion Manager (UK, US and EMEA), Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Andreas Reindl, Partner, Van Bael & Bellis
  • External panel member: Dee Sekar, D&I Director, Chambers and Partners

Moderator: Anna Duron, Senior Associate, Ashurst & LDIA Board Member

Performance by Djembe AGOGO
followed by networking

See more photos