We are committed to seeking out and retaining talented and motivated individuals and to treat all people with respect and dignity. We strive to create and foster a supportive and understanding environment, in which everyone is given the opportunity to realise their maximum potential free from discrimination and harassment. A full copy of our equality and diversity policy is available on request.
We believe diversity is about more than having a policy, it is about encouraging diversity and allowing everyone to be the best they can be without barriers. Our approach is to support diversity rather than simply tick boxes. We do this in several ways, read on:
Earlier this year we announced our membership of NOTICED, the UK’s first interfirm diversity network, to reinforce our commitment to foster an inclusive and diverse workforce
All employees have access to Walker Morris Academy, an online learning platform which provides bite-sized learning content including diversity, mental health and wellbeing.
We have developed an innovative eLearning diversity module which embeds the policy with everyone in the Firm.
Our line managers receive face-to-face diversity training which deals with practical case studies to aid understanding and awareness.
Our solicitors run workshops with children from primary schools in local deprived areas as part of Leeds Legal Education Week and Ahead Partnerships. This is to help make underprivileged children aware of the various careers available within a legal firm including: legal, HR, marketing and IT.
We have supported apprenticeships for six years. Taking 16-18 year olds with little or no qualifications into various parts of the business where we train them for a year and have a very successful track record of employing them on a permanent basis upon completion of the training period.
We undertake mentoring via universities, with students. We specifically look for students whose needs are greatest. This adds real value for the mentee and over the last few years this has worked well.
We have voluntarily published Gender Pay Gap information beyond the statutory requirements, including for partners and specific roles such as solicitors and trainee solicitors.
We introduced Diversity Champions. Their role is to help champion good practice across the firm, across all areas of diversity, and to give a voice to those who may not want to approach senior management with any concerns regarding D&I.
We put our reverse mentoring scheme into place. We finished our first cohort of mentors and mentees. Mentees were Board members and senior partners. We will be publishing lessons learnt and impact felt from the scheme. Our mentors have now agreed to take part in a second cohort of partners.
Launched “Stronger Together” with large law firms and accountancy firms. This is in conjunction with Leeds City Council to look at diversity with a bigger focus across Leeds/Yorkshire.
We have identified barriers to women achieving partnership. As a result, we have developed a plan for overcoming some of those barriers by reviewing our promotion policies, parental benefits and policies and introducing various initiatives for part-time and agile working.
“We were all supported and allowed to work completely from home during the month of Ramadan, which was invaluable. It really helped.”