11 Apr 2019

NOTICED network identifies areas of improvement for city law firms concerning multiculturalism and diversity

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NOTICED, the first UK inter-firm diversity network, earlier today launched a Best Practice Report including their top five recommendations enabling law firms to continue to show their support for multiculturalism and diversity recruitment. NOTICED member Hogan Lovells hosted the launch where District Judge Tan Ikram shared his views on the issues highlighted by and recommendations made in the report.

Prior to their Best Practice Report launch, the network members took part in a roundtable event last year with a view to gather responses and discussions to shed some light on current practice amongst City law firms and identified areas for improvement.

The group identified a number of steps for law firms to consider, including:

• Adopting or developing more robust and comprehensive strategies to gather data on BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) employees;
• Continuing to evaluate recruitment processes to eliminate any obstacles to employment from the widest pool of talent;
• Developing an action plan to better understand whether retention of employees from a BAME background is an issue;
• Developing an action plan to counter attrition of employees from a BAME background to the extent that this is identified as an issue and;
• Adopting aspirational targets in relation to the recruitment and retention of employees from a BAME background.

The roundtable session and report were based on the recommendations of a number of recent initiatives including the publication by the government-backed Parker Review Committee on its final report on the ethnic diversity of UK boards and the McGregor-Smith Review, which highlighted the business and moral case for BAME inclusion and progression in the workplace.

NOTICED’s co-chair and senior associate at Herbert Smith Freehills, Siddhartha Shukla, said: “Having examined the Parker Review and the McGregor-Smith Review, I am confident that our network has identified the key themes that law firms and other organisations in the UK would be open to considering and implementing. These recommendations should also help to reassure future candidates that diversity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords for law firms.”

Authors of the report and Herbert Smith Freehills associates, Faria Ali and Nic Patmore, said: “We believe that the publication of this report, and its recommendations around data collection and increased transparency as starting points for improving the retention and progression of individuals from diverse backgrounds, is particularly relevant and timely given recent developments around gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting. We hope this report will play a meaningful part in catalysing wider improvements in the legal sector and beyond.”

To access the report, please click the link below:

NOTICED Best Practices Report 2019 – Multiculturism and Diversity

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