2020 has been a year like no other. Businesses continue to adapt to the impact of Covid-19, the consequences of which are far-reaching both from an economic and societal perspective.
Diversity & Inclusion continues to be one of our highest priorities at Browne Jacobson, fundamental to our culture and embedded into our core values. We empower our people to be authentic and bring their whole selves to work every day. Creating an inclusive and diverse working environment is everyone’s responsibility in our business.
This year we have opted to continue to report on and publish both our gender and ethnicity pay gaps. We have also taken the decision to publish partner data when we are not required to do so in order to provide as complete a picture as is possible. Later in the report we have set out the steps and measures that we will put in place to address and close those gaps.
We have continued our focus on the critically important aim to increase gender balance, but in addition we are also strengthening our focus on other diversity strands, including ethnicity, disability, socio-economic background & sexual orientation. Lasting change will only be achieved when jobs at senior levels are accessible to all – and when the career paths to achieve them are equally accessible. We continue to look for opportunities to partner with our clients and supply chain to extend our reach in promoting an inclusive society.
Although recognising the very real challenges that we continue to face, we believe we have made some meaningful progress in our D&I journey since we last reported. In recognising that social mobility is inextricably intertwined with inclusion and fairness, we were heartened to find ourselves listed 5th in the Social Mobility Foundation Employer Index in 2020; a position we continue to build on with initiatives such as a new national work experience programme which is focused on students from socially excluded/disadvantaged backgrounds. We are seeing tangible results in recruitment, most visibly achieving high levels of diversity in our applications in the last year with 58% female, 30% identifying as a UK ethnic minority and 32% coming from a lower socio-economic background.
We want to ensure our efforts drive towards building a sustainable pipeline of diverse talent and that we are widening our talent pools in the legal sector, as well as nurturing and progressing our own employees within the firm.
It is important to recognise that we are still at the beginning of our journey, but continue to make great strides towards creating a more inclusive firm.