We live, as the Chinese curse says, in “interesting times” but I relish the challenge and opportunities that they bring for me, the firm and our wider community. We now know that we can change the way we work much faster than we ever thought possible and we have a better chance than ever to make our business truly diverse.
Diversity and inclusion should drive everything we do. We know that, apart from being good business sense, it’s just “right”. So how do we make sure that it can and does?
I think the real key is to embed diversity into our culture. For me, this breaks down into three focus points:
- Aspiration: How do we make Blake Morgan a place where all can aspire equally to all available roles irrespective of diversity characteristics?
- Challenges: What diversity related challenges do individuals experience in performing excellently and progressing – how do we overcome them?
- Voice: How do we empower individuals to speak up for change and most importantly to embrace the change they want for themselves.
Our Equality Diversity and Inclusion Committee is tasked with making sure that, as a Firm, we “Walk the Talk”. The Committee is made up of our “Diversity Champions” each of whom are tasked with promoting awareness of the challenges faced by individuals within a particular category, encouraging constructive debate, and campaigning for change. Each Champion has devised and implemented lively programmes that have achieved real engagement across the firm. As Chair of this Committee, I am tasked with ensuring that the thought leadership provided by the EDI Committee is communicated to the Board and appropriately taken into consideration.
So far the work of the EDI Committee has, amongst other things, supported the development of our “Smart Working Policy”, a Gender Equality and a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, LGBT “Allies” (look out for the Rainbow Lanyard!), and worked Prime Pathways to law and other external partners.
It goes without saying that we have updated our policies and procedures to promote inclusive behaviours and backed these up with a wide training offering, some of which, for example our “Inclusion and Respect” series, is mandatory for all staff.
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