City giants to act as equality mentors for smaller firms

The Law Gazette

16 July 2020

Small and medium-sized firms are being given the chance to be mentored by big firms who excel in their approach to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Small and medium-sized firms are being given the chance to be mentored by big firms who excel in their approach to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

The Solicitors Regulation Authority today launched the scheme which provides for 12 months’ one-to-one free support from firms recognised as national leaders in EDI. Mentors include Baker McKenzie, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Clifford Chance, DWF, Eversheds Sutherland, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright and Thrive Law.

Those selected for support will receive one-to-one monthly mentoring sessions and access to a wider range of advice, support materials and networking opportunities. Each programme will be tailored to the needs of the mentored firm, so they can focus on specific issues such as race, gender, sexuality or disability and consider their policies, business practices and working environment. Help will also be offered with culture in the firm, training policies and recruitment.

SRA chief executive Paul Philip said: ‘By giving firms of all sizes the opportunity to learn directly fom some of the most successful and largest law firms in the country, this scheme has real potential to deliver meaningful and direct benefits to all those involved.’

A similar mentoring scheme was run in 2018 by the SRA, Law Society and Stonewall, focusing specifically on LGBT+ issues. Those wanting to take part this time should complete a short expression of interest form on the SRA website by 12 August.

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