Equality, diversity, and inclusion report

We published the results of our equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) annual report

“We want the Law Society to lead the way when it comes to equality, diversity and inclusion in the solicitor profession.”

Our vision

We want to:

  • lead the way in EDI in the solicitor profession
  • build a membership and organisation where we can all thrive
  • role model EDI best practice to our members
  • make EDI a core part of our identity so that we will be an employer of choice for those who want to make a difference

Innovation flourishes when people are welcomed, encouraged and supported to contribute their unique perspectives, and diversity and inclusivity gives firms and organisations the competitive edge they need to attract and retain the best talent.

This applies to our members and their firms and to us as your professional body.

As part of our 2022-25 corporate strategy, we’ve set out how we will be an employer of choice for people who want to make a difference.

Our members uphold the rule of law and our justice system, both key principles underpinning the values of our society. We know our staff already feel passionately that this work makes a difference and are proud of their role and the part they play.

This is a sound platform to build on and will enable us to enhance member value through organisational efficiencies, growth and developing our people.

Being an employer of choice means working to fully embed EDI in our workplace. Whilst we recognise that we have more to do, we feel we have built a good foundation upon which we can expand our internal EDI work.

We will continue to progress our internal EDI strategy, which examines the actions we can take to realise our broader EDI vision.

The rationale

This report is our second EDI annual report. It is a review of our internal EDI activity over the last business year.

Sharing this report will help transparency and accountability for progressing EDI.

The report will show:

  • where we are now
  • the progress we have made in the past year
  • the steps we plan to take to improve our EDI strategy in the future

This report also explores our 2023 pay gap data.

All UK companies with 250 or more employees are required to publish gender pay gap information.

We strive to be open and transparent with our members, which is why we’ve chosen to also publish data on our disability, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation and identity and trans identity pay gaps.

Find out more about our pay gaps in our 2023 pay gap report

Reflections on the past year

September 2022 marked two years since we hired our EDI business partner (EDI BP) who leads our internal EDI strategy.

Our chief executive was appointed as sponsor of the EDI internal group, which consists of representatives from our:

  • ERGs
  • people and organisational development team (HR)
  • internal communications team
  • employee forum
  • trade union

The group met six times in 2022-23 to discuss and influence EDI related matters.

Inclusive Employers Standards (IES) assessment

We received a silver award in our first Inclusive Employers Standard (IES) assessment, putting us in the top 23% of organisations who were assessed.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

We rebranded our staff networks as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

We introduced new guidance which sets out what support these networks will receive and how we expect them to operate.

EDI induction training

We launched our redesigned EDI induction training to improve our staff’s EDI capability and knowledge.

At the end of Q4 2022-23 we had a completion rate of 91% and we will continue to monitor this. 

EDI information sharing

We ran a campaign to get more staff to share their sensitive and protected characteristic information in our HR online management system.

Sharing of eight or more pieces of EDI information, for example – gender, ethnicity and disability – has increased from 20% to 68% following this campaign.

Anonymised recruitment

We introduced anonymised recruitment and we are currently in the process of reviewing the impact.

Belonging and connection

Our ERGs delivered a session at our staff summer conference on cultivating belonging and connection for enhanced well-being and productivity.

This explored:

  • the benefits of shared and different experiences
  • the tools we can all use to create a workplace where people feel safe to open up

The session was attended by over 50 members of staff.


We have offered staff monthly EDI webinars and live e-learning events through our membership with Inclusive Employers.

These have covered a wide variety of topics, for example:

  • being an active bystander
  • autism awareness
  • supporting Muslim colleagues during Ramadan

Approximately five staff members a month have requested to attend one of these sessions.

Employee engagement survey

As part of our employee engagement survey 2023 we amended the specific EDI indices that employees were asked to rank.

The indices are ranked using a Likert scale between one to seven (strongly disagree to strongly agree).

The overall response rate to the survey was 69%.

2023 EDI indices and scores:

  • my organisation values and respects individual differences (new) – score 5.7
  • leaders at my organisation champion diversity - score 5.6 (up from 5.1 in 2022)
  • my organisation is committed to diversity (new) – score 5.8 


We capture gender (legal sex) within the personal information section of the HR management system.

Our staff are 60% female and 40% male. 

We are aware that not everyone would categorise themselves in a binary way, which is required by law.

Staff can self-report their gender. 

Pay gap

All UK companies with 250 or more employees are required to publish gender pay gap information. Pay gaps are different from the right to equal pay. Equal pay is providing the same pay irrespective of a protected characteristic for those doing the same or similar work or work that is different but of equal value.

Pay gaps highlight the difference between the average pay of one group (e.g. females) and the average pay of another group (e.g. males), irrespective of any differences in the work they do. As a result, it is affected by how the workforce is made up, including the numbers of individuals in the respective groups, types of jobs and levels of seniority.

There is no standardised method for calculating pay gaps apart from gender pay gaps.

Our 2023 pay gap report highlights:

  • our senior leadership team is 52% female and 48% male
  • our gender pay gap is 8.0% (median)

The current national average is 14.3%.

What we're doing

Eliminating pay gaps is a priority for us.

We’ve introduced a range of measures over the past two years that are part of a broader piece of work to address this, including anonymised recruitment, flexible working policy and mandatory inclusive recruitment training.

We know that reducing our pay gaps to zero does not automatically equate to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment in which everyone can thrive.

1. Reduce the pay gap 

We have detailed our plans to reduce this pay gap in our 2023 pay gap report.

2. Women’s Action and Voices for Equality (WAVE) ERG

WAVE held an impact masterclass with an expert external facilitator on topics such as tackling perfectionism and imposter syndrome.

WAVE have focussed on:

  • understanding what progress their members want to see at the Law Society
  • discussions regarding progression
  • challenging inappropriate behaviour
  • supporting minoritised women


10.8% of our staff identified as disabled.

20% is the national average of disabled individuals within employment. 

Pay gap

Our disability pay gap (median) was 12.0% in favour of disabled staff.

The UK’s disability pay gap is 14.6% in favour of individuals who are not disabled.


What we're doing

1. Reasonable adjustments

We introduced our reasonable adjustments policy predominantly aimed at:

  • supporting our disabled colleagues
  • removing barriers that prevent disabled staff from achieving their potential
  • outlining our social model approach to disability

We also introduced:

  • reasonable adjustments passports
  • decision-making forms to help make requesting a reasonable adjustment easier, more transparent and objective

We published a catalogue of reasonable adjustments currently being implemented.

We delivered a ‘lunch and learn’ during Disability History Month.

We explored:

  • what staff need to know about disability and the Equality Act
  • how reasonable adjustments work in practice

We also had the opportunity to listen to the advice of our disabled panelists.

2. Accessibility guide

We have created an accessibility guide for people who use and visit 113 Chancery Lane.

It was developed by:

  • disabled colleagues
  • our Disabled Solicitors Network
  • our EDI Internal Group
  • our facilities team

This document will be particularly useful for disabled colleagues, visitors, and members so that they can understand what to expect when visiting and using the building.

4. Open Minds network

Open Minds (our mental health and wellbeing staff ERG) ran several network sessions and workshops to support staff on good mental health and wellbeing practices.

5. Neurodiversity in Business (NiB) Charter

We signed up to the Neurodiversity in Business (NiB) Charter which will help us create a more inclusive workplace for neurodivergent employees. It will:

  • help them to progress in their careers
  • help us gain a better understanding of neurodiversity in the workplace

6. Disability confident committed status

We have renewed our disability confident committed status which helps us:

  • recruit, retain and develop disabled colleagues
  • recognise the value they bring to our organisation

Race and ethnicity 

25.4% of staff self-reported their ethnicity as Black, Asian or minority ethnic.

54.4% of staff selected their ethnicity as White.

2.6% preferred not to say.

15.3% have not responded.

Pay gap 

The 2023 ethnicity pay gap has decreased to 11.7% form 15.6 in 2022.


What we're doing 

1. 10,000 Black interns programme

We hosted seven interns from the 10,000 Black Interns programme for six to nine weeks, in six different departments.

They were paid the London living wage.

The feedback was positive, they all agreed or strongly agreed that the internship was a positive experience overall.

They reported they were:

  • well supported
  • matched to an area of interest
  • helped to develop
  • supported in their career goals

The majority of interns agreed that the skill level and amount of work they did was appropriate during the internship.

Interns reported:

  • feeling comfortable seeking support from their supervisors and others
  • various aspects of the internship programme supported their development

They suggested:

  • making the internships longer
  • offering more networking opportunities internally and externally

We have committed to hosting more interns from the 10,000 Black Interns programme for the next three years. 

3. The Race Equality and Cultural Heritage (REACH) ERG

REACH’s goal:

  • to have a truly inclusive organisation which actively promotes equality
  • to champion Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees to achieve their goals at all levels

REACH helped us celebrated South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) with an intergenerational conversation between two Law Society committee members of South Asian heritage.

They discussed their life and career histories, explored transformational moments, and shared valuable lessons and experiences.

We also held two lunchtime film screenings related to British South Asian diaspora and South Asian culture.

In Black History Month, REACH conducted an interview with Gifty Edila, a decorated black female lawyer, which paid homage to the theme ‘Saluting our Sisters’.

They also collaborated with the Black Solicitors Network and Squire Patton Boggs for Saluting our Sisters panel and networking event.

Sexuality and trans identities 

4.7% of our staff identify as LGBT+. 

68.5% are heterosexual. 

11.1% prefer not to say. 

15.1% have not shared their sexuality. 

Pay gap 

We have calculated our sexual orientation/trans identity pay gap for 2023.

There is a pay gap in favour of heterosexual cisgender staff of 7.7%.


What we're doing 

1. Outlaws

Our OutLaws ERG is a safe space for LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies.

Staff can work together on a range of activities to drive LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion in the workplace and society.

During LGBTQ+ History Month, OutLaws held a workshop to better understand intersectionality in the workplace. Attendees developed an intersectional framework to use for planning and decision-making.

Outlaws also marched alongside our members at the London Pride march.

We remain a member of the charity Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme, which has assisted with access to networking and support on LGBTQ+ equality issues.

Religion and belief 

The three largest faiths identified in our staff:

  • Christianity: 27.1%
  • No religion/Atheist: 24.0%
  • Islam: 5.4%
  • Hindu: 5.4%

31.1% of staff have not shared this information or prefer not to say. 

What we're doing 

We acknowledged various religious and cultural days, including:

  • Diwali 
  • Ramadan 

We hosted our first Iftar celebration with our Muslim and non-Muslim colleagues and our president. They came together to share breakfast and an evening meal with those who were observing Ramadan.

Other demographic data 

We collect other demographic data to help inform our EDI actions and strategy. This includes information related to:

  • parents and carers
  • social mobility
  • age
  • relationship status

For more information, read the full report. 

Member facing EDI highlights

100 Years

In 2022-23 we celebrated 100 Years of Women Solicitors.

We held events, shared member stories and a photo montage of women solicitors.

We refreshed the Women in Law pledge, introducing signatory roundtables to build a community of practice and to understand the difference the pledge is making.

General diversity and inclusion activity

We published diversity and inclusion framework case studies and refreshed supporting guidance.

We received 248 applications for our Diversity Access Scheme and awarded 15 scholarships to support talented aspiring solicitors from less advantaged backgrounds facing barriers to entering the profession.

Our LGBTQ+ Solicitors Network marched at London and Cardiff prides and our Disabled Solicitors Network worked with Legal Walk to hold two accessible routes.

With contribution from our Ethnic Solicitors Network, we continued our engagement with SRA research groups into:

  • the over regulation of solicitors from minority ethnic backgrounds
  • the SQE attainment gap for minority ethnic students

We also supported the Legal Neurodiversity Network (LNN) to host a roundtable for the Buckland Review of Autism Employment, where autistic people in the legal profession shared their views.

Ongoing actions from 2022/23

Out of the 15 actions we set ourselves in last year’s EDI annual report, 11 have been completed and the rest are being worked on.

Redraft current Equality Impact Assessment framework, toolkit and process

We have started this project but its complexity means it will take longer to implement.

An interim measure to consider equality, diversity and inclusion has been created while we explore a long-term solution.

Create and share regular EDI measurements using the HR online management system and other data sources

We have created a suite of EDI diversity data, but we would like to connect this data with other HR information.

Engage with an external supplier to learn, understand and measure the root cause of race inequality to inform actions

We are in the process of procuring an external supplier who will help delve into this issue via an extensive EDI engagement survey.

Launch reverse mentoring programme to connect staff from various levels across the business.

This is ongoing, the programme was launched in August 2023 and is due to complete in spring 2024.

Goals for 2023/24

Measure and report on equality, diversity and inclusion to identify benchmarks and targets

By measuring and reporting on EDI, we can:

  • track and record progress
  • understand if current activity is beneficial or needs changing
  • encourage buy-in and transparency


  1. Undertake the first annual EDI survey
  2. Create and share regular EDI measurements
  3. Data drive in relation to all EDI characteristics collected, with specific focus on socio-economic background and carer status
  4. Non-statutory and gender pay gap reporting

Wider accountability and responsibility for EDI across the organisation

Wider accountability and responsibility makes EDI everyone’s responsibility – not limited to an individual, group or department.


  • Complete reverse mentoring pilot and explore learnings
  • Partnering with business units to understand and respond to their departmental EDI challenges, opportunities, strengths and risks
  • Redraft current Equality Impact Assessment framework, toolkit and process
  • Trial EDI delivery and personal objectives within individual plans
  • Embed EDI capabilities into our capabilities framework
  • Policy review

Reduce and mitigate the risk of bias in recruitment practices

To reduce and mitigate the risk of bias in recruitment practices to improve success rates for underrepresented groups and candidates. 

There is disproportionality between the success rates of minority ethnic candidates compared to white candidates. 


  • Inclusive recruitment training to be delivered to all hiring managers who have not completed the training in the last 12 months
  • Monitor and measure the impact of anonymised recruitment with an inclusive recruitment report
  • Updated recruitment policy and materials
  • Deliver a positive action internship programme

Disabled staff can thrive at the Law Society

The disabled employment gap for the UK is 29% (Office of National Statistics), meaning there are fewer disabled individuals within employment than individuals who are not disabled.


  1. Complete the disability confident leader assessment and audit and use feedback to inform further actions
  2. Work with an external supplier regarding disability inequality to inform further actions

Chief executive final word

“At the Law Society, we want to be a place where everyone can thrive, and where everyone feels welcome and valued.

“It is the right thing to do to build an organisation that is truly diverse and inclusive. It is also critical to our mission – helping us better serve our members who are part of an extremely diverse profession.

“I’m pleased with the progress outlined in this report and proud that we secured a silver award in our first Inclusive Employers Standard assessment.

“I am fortunate to have had opportunities to take part in the initiatives described in the report and have valued expanding my own understanding through participating in our reverse mentoring pilot.

“It will take all of us to build the organisation we want, and I’m looking forward to our collective effort to achieve the goals in our action plan that will take us to the next stage in our journey.”

Ian Jeffery, chief executive

“Our members uphold the rule of law and our justice system, both key principles underpinning the values of our society. We know our staff already feel passionately that this work makes a difference and are proud of their role and the part they play.”