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Charles Russell Speechlys receives Top Awards from Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index

Charles Russell Speechlys is proud to achieve the Gold Award and Highly Commended Network Award from Stonewall, both for the second year running. These awards recognise our commitment to being an LGBTQ+ inclusive employer and the action we are taking.

This year we improved our ranking in the Top 100 Employer’s List by 21 places, to 32nd. The Employer’s List comprises a wide range of employers from the public, private and third sectors, ranked by a set of standardised criteria, which are reviewed every three years to ensure they remain up to date and fit for purpose. 

The criteria cover a range of policies and processes across the candidate and employee life cycle, exploring how organisations engage internally with their LGBTQ+ community, how they raise awareness and engage allies and how organisations engage externally with suppliers and the community.

Our commitment to being a diverse and inclusive employer is a key strand of our business strategy and the Firm’s approach to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is led from the very top by a senior committee - The Future Firm Group - co-chaired by our Senior and Managing Partners and supported by a range of senior leads, including the leads from each of our five focus Networks: CAPability and Mental health, Gender, LGBTQ+, Religion, Belief & Ethnicity and Social Mobility.

Lesley O’Leary, Chief Operating Officer at Charles Russell Speechlys said:

"We are delighted that the Firm has been recognised for the progress we continue to make. We constantly strive to make sure our culture is one where everyone feels able to be themselves and that as a Firm we keep evolving, to ensure we offer a safe and welcoming environment to our LGBTQ+ colleagues, clients and candidates.  

We have a very engaged and active LGBTQ+ Network, and the Highly Commended Network Award is a fantastic recognition of our hard work, the actions undertaken at the Firm and the engagement of the LGBTQ+ Network.“

James Bateman (Associate, he/him) and Richard Honey (Senior Associate, he/him) – Co Chairs of the LGBTQ+ Network at Charles Russell Speechlys said:

"We are thrilled to be awarded a Highly Commended Network again this year. The LGBTQ+ & Allies Network is a family with a strong focus on ensuring we offer an inclusive and supportive work environment to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Stonewall has reported that more than a third of LGBTQ+ staff in the UK have hidden their sexuality at work and we are keen to ensure that our work environment is one where people feel they can be out if they wish. We are incredibly proud of what the Network has achieved and grateful for the support and engagement we receive from our colleagues and the Firm.”

Nancy Kelley, CEO of Stonewall (she/her) said:

"It’s been fantastic to see all of the work put in by Charles Russell Speechlys over the past year to create a workplace where LGBTQ+ staff feel free to thrive as themselves.

For many of us, the majority of our time is spent at work, so if we have to hide who we are it can take an enormous personal toll and hold us back from fulfilling our true potential. Creating environments where we can all feel comfortable makes our workplaces a safer, better, and friendlier place for everyone and helps staff be proud of who they are.”

The full Top 100 list this year can be found on the Stonewall website, as well as further information about the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion, and more information on how the Top 100 list is created.

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