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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) continues to be a key pillar of our Powerhouse strategy. We aspire to be a firm where everyone feels their voice is heard and their contribution is valued, where we celebrate our different identities and backgrounds and where we provide the tools for everyone to reach their potential and thrive.

We approach DEI with the same discipline and rigour as any other business priority. We set goals, share them publicly and use data to measure impact; we seek to improve on a continuous basis and hold our leadership accountable. We know that transparency is important and, as in previous years, we will report more broadly than the mandatory reporting requirements by including ethnicity, disability, and social mobility as well as gender.

We acknowledge that building a sustainable pipeline of diverse talent runs the risk of temporarily widening some of our pay gaps and disappointingly we have seen that this year. However, we were encouraged by our 2023 Partner and Legal Director promotions, where 40% new Partners and Legal Directors were female, and 60% of promotions into equity were female. We are also making good progress towards the Leadership targets we set in 2021. Our firm’s leadership population is currently 43% female and 8% UK Ethnic minority.

During 2023, we retained our number 1 UK Law firm ranking on the 2023 Social Mobility Index in recognition of the work we are doing to help remove barriers and open access to the legal sector for all. We also created a full time, dedicated Social Mobility team to help evolve our strategy and create further opportunities to maximise impact.

We have introduced mandatory DEI training across the firm on Conscious Inclusion and Anti-racism to build education, awareness and advocacy. Last year the firm’s Partners and senior leaders completed 10 hours of DEI training and the programme has now been rolled out to the rest of the firm.

We were incredibly proud to launch our second REACH Mentoring programme with the aim of supporting, developing and building a future pipeline of next generation talented Black lawyers. The programme was a huge success with 75% participants securing a role with the firm and we have even bigger plans for 2024.

We have continued to offer our ground-breaking FAIRE (Fairer Access into Real Experience) work experience scheme, giving opportunities to those who would not otherwise be able to experience life in a law firm and we are planning to broaden our work to include younger age groups.

We continue to advance our disability inclusion strategy by launching a robust workplace adjustments policy, enhancing our training, and attaining Disability Confident Level 2 Employer accreditation.

Our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Nottingham is in its second year and we have conducted internal audits of our appraisal and promotion processes to identify areas of opportunity to eliminate bias and underrepresentation. We have gained some fantastic insights from this partnership to help inform our strategy.

Creating systemic and societal change can be slow, but our commitment to reaching our diversity targets and using our influence to help create positive change within the legal sector remains unwavering.

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