Equality and diversity
Beale & Co prides itself on its inclusive nature. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (“EDI”) is a central part of all that we do – it is the top item on our Partner meeting agendas and is at the heart of our service delivery. We also recognise that our employees are our most valuable asset and that we must continue to recruit and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Every step is taken to determine that individuals internally and externally are treated equally and fairly and that there is no direct or indirect discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of:
- Gender reassignment’;
- Marriage and civil partnership;
- Pregnancy and maternity;
- Race (includes colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins);
- Religion or belief;
- Sex; and
- Sexual orientation.
Our dedicated EDI leader, Partner Joanna Lewis, leads our EDI committee who meet regularly to keep under review our approach to EDI and our strategy, which focuses of four key areas: Policies, Training, Career and Visibility.
As an equal opportunities employer, we are made up of a diverse mix of people. Our latest survey shows us that we are above average for law firms in the diverse nature of our workforce, for example in our employment of women at 53.9% with three out of four of our offices led by women and 80% of our Business Support managers also female. We are also above average for our employment of diverse ethnicity with 37.4% non-white British employees and less than 10% of our work force coming from a private school background. Please click on the following link to see a copy of our Diversity Statistics 2021.
Examples of some of the diversity initiatives we have been running across our UK, Dublin and Dubai offices include:
- Role models campaign – as part of our visibility campaign and to demonstrate both internally and externally the equal opportunities and inclusive nature of our firm we recently launched a role models campaign. Our first role model was Sheena Sood, who joined the firm in 1990 as a trainee solicitor and is now our Senior Partner (click here to read Sheena’s interview).
- Mentoring – we have always had a policy of trainee solicitors sitting with partners or senior lawyers during their training contracts to assist them as they embark on their careers. In addition, we have in place internal mentoring schemes for associate lawyers and junior partners and are broadening this to include all staff.
- Unconscious bias training – we have provided training at leadership level to the partners at the annual partner conference in January 2020 and aim to roll this out to all levels within the firm this year.
- Work experience programme – we are working with an organisation called ELBA and the Law Society to set up a programme of work experience for young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds to be able to undertake paid work experience to help them understand what a career in a law firm might be like. This is distinct from any recruitment processes we have in place.
- ENEI – we are members of the Employer’s Network for Equality and Inclusion and use this network for assistance with our EDI programme and to help us address and progress EDI issues.
- Law Society Diversity & Inclusion Charter – We are signatories to the Society of England & Wales’ Diversity and Inclusion Charter (the “Charter”). The Charter helps legal practices turn their commitment to diversity and inclusion in to positive, practical action for their businesses, staff and clients by helping them to record and measure their policies and procedures against a set of diversity and inclusion standards and by providing them with opportunities to share best practice advice and guidance with colleagues from across the profession.
- Flexible working – We are committed to flexible working practices and policies that support work-life balance and flexible working is an integral part of our culture.
If you have any queries about our equality, diversity and inclusion policy, please contact Joanna Lewis, our EDI Leader.