Diversity & inclusion

“When I secured my interview at BLM, I researched the firm and the values of our firm of ‘being in this together’ is truly what I have experienced with the firm. The diversity at BLM is amazing, and all the staff are always so supportive and approachable, regardless of their post in their firm. On Eid, receiving an email with well wishes was also, so lovely, as it’s the first time I have received such an email from an employer. Whilst fasting, my manager was so kind, and asked if I required any adjustments to my working. It’s all these little things that make BLM a cut above the rest, and I am so happy to have started a career with the firm.” - Usman Habib, Paralegal, BLM

“I am of Chinese ethnicity and I grew up in England, surrounded by racism. Many people do not understand the negative effects it has on the individual.  What needs to change is how people think. I believe everybody can have a good heart and this is why I agree with BLM’s EDI strategy. Quitting my previous job and starting at BLM was the best decision I ever made. I am astounded by the amount of support and inclusion offered here, and for once, I feel as though I am part of the team.” - Yingo Liu, Credit Controller, BLM

“It took me several years to be comfortable at being openly ‘out in work’. I was in fear that identifying as LGBTQ+ in the legal profession would result in difficult conversations with colleagues, damage to my working relationships and even hinder my prospects of progression. I am very fortunate to work with a team and company that values diversity. I have developed deep and lasting relationships with my colleagues which go beyond the workplace, and their attitudes of acceptance without exception is something I truly value. BLM is already ahead of the curve as an organisation in creating an environment where we celebrate diversity.  For a long time I have wanted to be more than just a lawyer, I have had a desire to help others in different ways, and BLM has encouraged me to help.” - Victoria Jackson, Associate and EDI Ambassador, BLM

 

Our approach to EDI

We are committed to developing, maintaining and supporting a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion for our workforce. We seek to sustain a working, learning and social environment in which all our people can achieve their potential and are valued, recognised, supported and celebrated. for four years running we have been ranked in a list of Top 50 UK employers for inclusiveness, a definitive list of UK based organisations that promote inclusion at each level of employment within their organisation. The list represents those companies which promote all strands of diversity including age, disability, gender, LGBT, race, faith and religion.

We were also the first law firm to officially sign up to The Inclusive Behaviours in Insurance Pledge, an initiative set up by Lloyd’s of London and Zurich to demonstrate the insurance industry’s commitment to creating a “culture where inclusive behaviours become the norm and where everyone is accepting of diversity.”

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace which reflects the diverse nature of the communities in which we work. We know that embracing difference contributes positively to a flourishing workforce.

Our 2021 Gender Pay Gap results are available to download here. The report reflects the required reporting details, including statistics for the firm's pay and bonus gap, proportionality of male and female employees, as well as an overview of the approach we take to the wellbeing of all our employees.

You can also find out more about our diversity data by clicking here. All employees were given the opportunity to complete an online survey and the information within this report provides a summary of those responses.

 

Gender Pronouns: What and Why?

We are a firm that recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (she, them or it). Gender pronouns (he/ she/ they/ ze/ xe etc) specifically refer to the people that you are talking about. Often, when speaking of a singular human in the third person, these pronouns have a gender implied such as “he” to refer to a man/boy or “she” to refer to a woman/girl. These associations are not always accurate or helpful.

Often, people make assumptions about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or name. These assumptions aren’t always correct, and the act of making an assumption (even if correct) sends a potentially harmful message - that people have to look a certain way or have a certain name to demonstrate the gender that they are or are not.

Using the appropriate pronoun is a first step towards respecting people’s gender identity and creating an inclusive working environment for all genders. Gender pronouns are words that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about them. “He, him or his” and “she, her and hers” are the most commonly used gender pronouns. However, people who are transgender (whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex) or gender nonconforming/ non-binary (they do not identify as male or female) may choose to use pronouns that don’t conform to male/ female gender categories, such as “they, them, theirs”.

We encourage our employees to be active allies and recognise that we should all use our privileges to help to support marginalised communities. 

What can I do?

One step we can take is to add our pronouns to our email signature / social media profiles. This is a practice that has become increasingly common in the corporate world, with the intention of making the workplace comfortable for all - including staff who are transgender or non-binary.

Including pronouns in an email signature is a great way to show that you and the firm are committed to equality:

  • It helps people respectfully refer to one another.
  • It helps staff avoid mistakes, like misgendering someone, which can be especially hurtful for trans people.
  • It is a powerful message to visibly demonstrate allyship both internally and externally.
  • It can be helpful in avoiding mistaken identification of gender which is not obvious from a given name.

Whilst including pronouns in email signatures is encouraged, it is by no means a compulsory policy. Not everyone may feel comfortable about sharing their pronouns. If you need any additional information regarding the use of pronouns in some of BLM colleague’s email signatures, please contact our Head of CSR and EDI, Eloise Sochanik.