Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is at the heart of everything we do.
We know that by offering an inclusive and supportive culture where everyone can be themselves, feel valued and feel they belong, it puts us in a strong position to be able to attract talented individuals from all different backgrounds and communities to our Firm.
Our commitment to diversity
As a Firm we are committed to doing the best by our people, our clients and our communities and our business strategy reflects that and the steps we need to take to achieve it. In 2022 we set up a senior leadership group, the Future Firm Group (FFG), with the sole focus of developing and driving forward our D&I strategy and ensuring it is embedded across the Firm into all elements of our business and central governance. Our FFG is Co-Chaired by our Senior Partner, Bart Peerless and Managing Partner, Simon Ridpath. It includes a broad representation of senior leaders from across the Firm including representation from our D&I Networks through our D&I Partners and Senior Associate leads, as well as senior leaders from our HR, Finance, and Business Development teams.
Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
Our D&I strategy is not just about how we attract, recruit and develop talented individuals from underrepresented communities; it is also about understanding how our policies, processes and practices work in reality for everyone, questioning where the blind spots are, challenging the current way we think and work. We regularly review our policies and practices to ensure fair and equitable processes are in place to secure a greater diversity and ability to retain and develop the best talent.
The Charles Russell Speechlys Business School incorporates the Firm’s values and focus on D&I through all its development programmes - available to everyone, the programmes provide individuals with the tools and confidence to be an inclusive leader, to be a better ally and to learn from each other through our mentoring and reverse mentoring programmes.
Areas of focus
The Firm has five areas of focus and has a number of initiatives and actions in place to support it’s D&I strategy. The areas of focus include:
- Gender - with a specific focus on achieving gender balance in Partnership and leadership roles and providing an environment where working parents of all genders feel supported to achieve a good balance with work and home life.
- CAPability and Mental health – Collaborating And Promoting Ability, the Network is focussed on how we can attract more candidates living with a disability and how we can continue to develop an environment where open conversations take place about mental health as well as physical health and our mental health support options are well known and utilised.
- LGBTQ+ - to ensure we offer a supportive and an inclusive environment where all members of the LGBTQ+ community feel they can be themselves in the workplace.
- Religion, Belief and Ethnicity – with a specific focus on improving our ethnic diversity across the Firm, by trying to attract more diverse talent to enter the legal sector and by understanding, and removing, any potential challenges to recruitment, inclusion and/or development
- Social Mobility – with a focus on understanding, and removing, any potential challenges to entering the legal sector and connecting with students at an earlier stage to ensure they have easy access to information and resources to make more informed decisions.
Each of these areas of focus is supported by an active staff led D&I Network and dedicated D&I Team. There is strong support for diversity and inclusion initiatives across the Firm and everyone is encouraged to play their part.
Our D&I engagement and activities are not just focussed internally, we also proactively engage with our clients, suppliers and intermediaries on initiatives and activities to support diversity and inclusion and wider Responsible Business initiatives to encourage further education, awareness and action.
You can read more about our Vision Statement, activities and achievements by clicking through the tiles below.
Vision Statement, activities and achievements
Our future Firm is diverse and inclusive.
LGBTQ+ and Allies
We advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and are committed to ensuring we provide an environment where everyone feels comfortable in the workplace.
Our Achieving Balance programme provides a particular focus on improving our gender diversity in senior leadership roles.
Religion, Belief and Ethnicity
We want to ensure we attract, develop and retain a workforce that is diverse, celebrating our different ethnicities, cultures and heritage.
We aim to “Collaborate and Promote” ability, providing the support and tools to ensure that everyone is able to reach their full potential.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We are committed to providing an environment where individuals feel comfortable talking about their mental health.
Collaborating with our Clients
Diversity and inclusion is not a “nice to have” it is a commercial imperative.
Our social mobility programme is designed to provide guidance and support to students from a low socio-economic background.
Reporting and Statistics
In May 2020, we were one of a very few number of law firms to publish a Gender Pay Report.
News & insights
Charles Russell Speechlys signs up to The Valuable 500
We have confirmed our commitment to ensure that disability inclusion is a regular item on the leadership agenda.
Guide to Pride Series
Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Read more about our 2020 Pride activities here.
International Women’s Day 2020 – 8 Women for 8 March
International Women’s Day offers us a great opportunity to celebrate inspirational women and our female colleagues.