Sarah Churchman, Employee Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion
We believe it is right to be a diverse and inclusive firm and that this will help us build better relationships with our clients to give us a competitive edge. We start from the simple premise that talent has no age, race or gender and is not ruled out by disability.
We start from the simple premise that talent has no age, race or gender and is not ruled out by disability. In our experience the most diverse teams are the highest performing teams. So for business as well as social reasons we work hard to attract, train and develop a diverse gender, ethnic and social group of people. It’s pleasing to note that we were listed as a leading employer in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2011.
We are setting targets to create a more diverse workforce that better reflects the clients we serve and the communities we live in.
Through the course of the year we developed and implemented a firmwide training programme called ‘Open Mind’ which used innovative elearning, video and face-to-face discussion sessions to help our partners and staff reflect on how open minded they are. This training was available to all our people and every member of the Executive Board took part in the programme.
One particular area of focus is increasing the proportion of women and people from ethnic backgrounds in senior grades within the firm. We have played an active part in the discussions around Lord Davies’ recommendations on the representation of women on boards. Our partnership structure means that our primary focus must be on developing a larger proportion of women partners, from which our Executive Board will in turn be drawn.
We are making progress but recognise that we must do more. 14% of our partners are women, which falls short of our initial target of 20%. Given that over 40% of our managers are female, it is clear that we need to continue to focus on this.
While there has been widespread public attention to gender diversity over the past year, we have also devoted considerable energy to ethnic and age diversity. Both are priority areas in the coming year.