Law firms today are increasingly turning to specifically appointed officers to promote diversity and inclusion in their workplaces.

This move follows a growing trend across the professional services industries and society more broadly to ensure that previously marginalised groups, be they actively or passively discriminated against, are given the fullest opportunities to succeed and the environment most conducive to helping them take them. Further incentive, besides the obvious, is provided by the British Standards Institution’s unveiling of ‘BS 76005 Valuing people through diversity and inclusion – code of practice for organisations’ in July 2017. These guidelines aim to provide a framework for businesses hoping to meet their obligations to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

In the increasingly competitive world of legal recruitment, we at Jepson Holt see first-hand the ways legal firms attempt to retain and entice high-quality professionals, wherever they come from. The case for more inclusive, diverse workplaces is clear, a 2017 study by the social enterprise group Women Ahead demonstrated that businesses that support networks of specific demographic groups - based on gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion, for example - showed a direct uptick in employee retention and engagement.

As such appointments become more commonplace we can expect law firms and business more broadly to take a much keener interest in developing workplaces where all employees feel welcome.