Regular diversity monitoring helps us determine the degree of progress we are making towards achieving our equality and diversity objectives and allows us to revise our diversity strategy and action plan accordingly. To ensure that we are able to review and maintain our progress against our policy, industry data, and year on year results, we carry out an annual diversity survey. Our most recent results show that in many cases we are comparable to the legal sector.
Some of the highlights from our 2015 are included below:
- 37% of our Partners are female
- 7% of our workforce have declared themselves as either Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual
- 6.5% of staff have declared themselves as disabled
- Over 70% of staff studied at a UK state school
- Over 40% of staff were the first generation to attend university
What have we been up to in the last 12 months?
Some recent initiatives we have been working on include the following:
PRIME scheme - We became a member of the PRIME scheme in summer 2012. By signing up to PRIME, we are committed to provide work experience placements for students from less advantaged backgrounds to enable them to find out about the legal profession and the different career paths available to them.
In July 2013, we facilitated the PRIME work experience scheme through SpearHead a charity/recruitment agency who specialise in assisting young people, between the ages of 16 and 24, who are not in full-time education or employment to get into the work environment.
Working in collaboration with SpearHead, we provided work experience for five students in various departments and gave them opportunities to network with people across the firm.. Following the end of the work experience programme we were able to offer one candidates a paid position in one of our fee-earning departments through a competitive interview process.
Diversity and Inclusion Charter – We are a member of the Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter and contribute to their annual diversity report in order to help us identify areas of shared challenge and disseminate examples of good practice. It also gives us an indication of how well we are achieving relation to areas such as leadership and vision, employment, staff development and policy making. This year we are pleased to report that in five out of the eight leadership goals, we achieved best practice accreditation.
Working Parents group – The Firm participates in the Times 100 Best Companies Survey each year. Following on from last year’s feedback, we realised that there was a need to form a working parents forum. The aim of the group is to identify the main challenges are for working parents (both mothers and fathers), and to discuss ways in which the firm could support them further.
In addition to being a member of organisations such as Stonewall, Prime & the Diversity & Inclusion Charter, we have also been a longstanding member of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei). The enei in the UK’s leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace. In addition to supporting employers, they influence government, business and trade unions, campaigning for practical change.