Equality, diversity, and inclusion report 2022
“Our vision is to build an organisation where we can all actively thrive and that we can all feel proud of.”
- all staff feel valued, welcomed and embraced
- no unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation
- good relations between different groups
- positive impact on staff, members and wider society
- lead the solicitor profession by example
- become a trusted friend to help others on their EDI journey
This is the first report of its kind to have an in-depth review of EDI activity within the previous year at the Law Society.
We will aim to complete the report annually.
The report will show:
- where we are now
- the progress we have made in the last year
- the goals and steps we plan to take in the year ahead
Reflections on the past year
1. Created and appointed an EDI business partner
The EDIBP was hired to focus on our internal EDI strategy.
We collaborated with key stakeholders:
- EDI internal group
- people and organisational development (P&OD/HR)
- diversity and inclusion team
- executive leadership team
As a result:
- the EDI internal group has had better structure
- greater impact on EDI activity
2. New EDI policy
The policy sets out:
- our vision for EDI
- key guiding principles to achieve this vision
- our responsibilities
The policy is broader than eliminating discrimination, victimisation and harassment. It considers how we can create an inclusive and welcoming environment which celebrates difference.
3. Guidance for all staff and line managers
We have drafted guidance around responding to bias and prejudice. We have also provided briefing sessions that all staff have had access to.
4. Training on Linkedin Learning
We are moving the EDI induction training to Linkedin learning. This will allow us to monitor progress and direct staff to further EDI training available on Linkedin.
The current platform does not efficiently track who has started or completed the training.
5. Staff network guidance
Guidance is currently being produced. It will support the networks having a greater influence and champion their members.
Guidance will set out:
- how we will support networks
- the expectations we have in relation to how staff networks should operate
The most significant parts of the guidance include:
- senior sponsorship for staff networks
- appropriate budget
- recognition for those leading the networks
6. Updated equality and diversity monitoring data
Equality and diversity monitoring data has been updated to reflect best practice.
New categories have been added:
- parent and carer status
- socio-economic background
There has also been a drive to increase staff sharing their equality and diversity information.
We have also updated our privacy notice.
7. Data review
We have reviewed our data within our talent acquisitions management system.
Our report highlighted disparities between minority ethnic candidates and white candidates when being recruited.
There have been 36 webinars and live e-learning events offered to staff regarding EDI since January 2022.
95 places have been requested from 28 different staff members.
Webinars are provided by Inclusive Employers and we have five spaces at each webinar.
9. Additional questions in the pulse survey
We added questions to our employee engagement survey to consider the role of senior leadership with regards to EDI.
The questions include:
- my organisation values the contribution of employees regardless of race or ethnicity
- leaders at my organisation champion diversity
- my organisation values and respects individual difference
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.
Less than 150 (40%) staff members have self-reported their gender.
In July 2022, 51.7% of senior management identified as female.
Our 2022 gender pay gap is 4.7%. The current national average is 14.9% (ONS 2021).
What we're doing
1. Reduce the pay gap
Read our gender pay gap report to find out more.
2. The women's network
- champions and advocates for women's issues
- supports our internal EDI strategy
- helps employees meet the needs of members
We are committed to having an active women's network.
We will continue to support the network to further advance gender equality.
8.1% of our staff considered themselves as disabled.
20% is the national average of disabled individuals within employment.
What we're doing
1. Signed up to the Neurodiversity in Business (NiB) charter
- help us build a better work place for neurodivergent (ND) people
- help ND people progress in their careers
- support companies to gain a better understanding of neurodiversity
2. Disability Confident Committed status
This helps us:
- recruit, retain and develop disabled colleagues
- recognise the value they bring to the Law Society
3. Accessibility guide
The guide will help visitors and those new to 113 Chancery Lane to use and access the building.
We hope this document will be useful for disabled colleagues, visitors and members to understand what to expect when visiting.
4. Open Minds network
Almost one in five staff who reported a disability described theirs as a mental health condition.
We hold a mental health and wellbeing staff network.
Open Minds have run several network sessions and workshops. They aim to support staff with good mental health and wellbeing practices.
This has been alongside our continuing employee assistance programme and relationship with LawCare.
Race and ethnicity
23% of staff self-reported their ethnicity as Black, Asian or minority ethnic.
49% of staff selected their ethnicity as White.
3% preferred not to say.
25% have not responded.
In July 2022, 12% of staff in senior management identified as Black, Asian or minority ethnic, compared to 14% in July 2021 and 15% in July 2020.
This was the first year we produced and shared our ethnicity pay gap data.
Our median ethnicity pay gap is 15.6%.
Read more about our actions to reduce the pay gap in this separate report.
What we're doing
1. Hosted five interns from the 10,000 Black interns programme
Interns were placed in five different departments for six weeks. They were paid London living wage.
The programme received positive feedback from the interns, their supervisors and mentors, as well as members from around the profession.
We have committed to hosting more interns for the next four years from the 10,000 Black interns programme.
We have also planned to increase the duration and number of placements.
2. Anti-racism learning course
During Race Equality Week, we delivered a week of learning courses.
The sessions were well received with approximately 6.6% of staff members attending at least one.
The Race Equality and Cultural Heritage staff network's goal is to have a truly inclusive organisation.
They actively promote equality and champion Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees to achieve their goals at all levels.
The network held a lunch and learn for South Asian Heritage month. It was hybrid and attended by 20 staff members, including our new president Lubna Shuja.
The network leads have met regularly with their members and external staff networks whose focus is on eliminating racial inequality to share learning.
Sexuality and trans identities
4% of our staff identify as LGBT+.
63% are heterosexual.
11% prefer not to say.
22% have not shared their sexuality.
What we're doing
The Outlaws staff network is a safe space for LGBT+ colleagues.
Staff can network together on a range of activities to drive equity and inclusion.
It was relaunched in May 2022 following a positive LGBT+ history month campaign to raise visibility of LGBT+ contributions to society.
Outlaws members were invited to march at Pride London.
They ran an internal campaign with staff members from across the organisation where individuals explained what Pride means to them.
2. Transgender policy
There is not enough data for those who identify as having a trans identity for us to share without risking confidentiality.
Our Transgender policy is in place to support all staff regarding trans inclusion.
3. Member of Stonewall
We are a member of Stonewall and its Diversity Champions Programme which has assisted with access to networking and support on LGBT+ equality issues.
We use a broad range of sources to shape our efforts to advance LGBT+ equality.
Religion and belief
The three largest faiths identified in our staff:
- Christianity: 26%
- No religion/Atheist: 11%
- Islam: 5%
50% of staff have not shared this information or prefer not to say.
What we're doing
We acknowledged various religious and cultural days, including:
- Holocaust Memorial Day
For Ramadan we updated guidance and ensured the contemplation room had appropriate Qibla and disposable prayer mats.
We are required to collect all staff's date of birth.
Goals for 2022-2023
This year the we plan to build on the work detailed above and strengthen our commitment to EDI.
Below sets out our goals for the next year and the actions we plan to take.
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
- Establish a working group to deliver the Inclusive Employer Standard
- Non-statutory (ethnicity, LGBT+ and disability) and gender pay gap reporting
- Redraft current Equality Impact Assessment framework/toolkit/process
- Engage with external supplier to learn, understand and measure race inequality to inform actions
- Create and share regular EDI measurements using the HR online management system and other data sources
- Data drive in relation to all EDI characteristics collected, with specific focus on socio-economic background and carer status
Create greater awareness and buy-in from staff in relation to EDI by raising visibility with senior leaders and key stakeholders.
Securing buy-in is necessary so that EDI is considered an integral part of Law Society functioning and identity.
- Launch reverse mentoring programme to connect staff from various levels across the business
- Staff network guidance and training, to provide resources and learning for staff networks to champion and share insights into EDI
- Business partnering with HBUs to understand and respond to their departmental EDI challenges and strengths
To reduce and mitigate the risk of bias in recruitment practices to improve success rates for underrepresented groups/candidates.
There is disproportionality between the success rates of minority ethnic candidates compared to white candidates.
- Introduce and launch anonymised recruitment
- Inclusive recruitment training to be delivered to all hiring managers
- Inclusive recruitment report/analysis
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.
- Draft and launch reasonable adjustments policy (with briefings and guidance), including reasonable adjustment passports and reasonable adjustment decision making forms
- Draft and launch accessibility guide for 113 Chancery Lane
- Use the learning shared as part of the Neurodiversity in Business Charter
CEO final word
"I am encouraged by the work that has been done to date within the Law Society to embed equality, diversity, and inclusion – and the goals that are set in this report to take us to the next stage in our journey.
"EDI is a key part of our corporate strategy, which we believe will make us an employer of choice for people who want to make a difference. Our commitment to EDI will also make us a more effective voice for our members, drive excellence in the profession, safeguard the rule of law, and promote access to justice.
"Our goal is to be considered an authentic and trusted critical friend that can help and support others in the profession on their EDI journey, while we continue our own."
Ian Jeffery, chief executive