Diversity & Inclusion
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is essential to delivering Foot Anstey's strategy.
That’s why this is right at the heart of our priorities. This goes beyond our policies – it’s something we consider across everything we do, from the make-up of our client teams, encouraging staff to reach their potential, through to our leadership.
‘Powering your ambition’ is the statement that summarises what we stand for as a firm. It means that we aim to support our clients and our people to achieve their goals, regardless of background, gender, race, beliefs, sexuality or other non-work related factors. We champion aspiration and encourage it in everyone that works with us.
We realise that we are on a journey, helped by our action plan, to become a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. A key milestone for us was achieving the National Equality Standard accreditation at first time of assessment in 2018, and we’re currently working towards re-accreditation in 2021.
Some of the initiatives we already have in place to help us drive a diverse and inclusive workplace include:
Diversity & Inclusion sub-group of the Partnership Board
This group was formed in 2019 to tackle our challenges head on and develop our strategic diversity and inclusion priorities for 2019-23.
Diversity & Inclusion Action Group
The Diversity & Inclusion Action Group are responsible for contributing directly to D&I projects, generating ideas, and are a sounding board for firm employees.
We know that innovation and diversity of thought helps us to stay at the forefront of business whether for our clients or ourselves. We have a number of forums that encourage employees to progress ideas and initiatives that can help us drive the firm’s strategy.
Agile & Flexible working
Around 40% of our employees currently work flexibly and this is something we actively encourage.
Diversity & Inclusion Survey
We conduct a survey every two years to enable us to track our progress and allow employees to comment and provide feedback.
Focus on employee wellbeing
Our employee wellbeing offering is incredibly important to Foot Anstey. We have a number of initiatives that we believe genuinely support everyone to have a healthy work life balance – including fruit in our offices; promotion of exercise e.g. running clubs; a cycle to work scheme; offering weekly lifestyle hours; a family hours scheme and paid sabbaticals at all levels of the firm. We recognise the issue of mental health in the professional services sector and have a diverse group of trained mental health first aiders across all of our offices.
Our approach to ensuring diverse talent attraction includes a growing apprenticeship scheme and providing other alternative routes into the legal profession and professional support roles in the business. We also use the RARE Contextual Recruitment System to measure candidates’ achievements, including their academic performance at university, against a classification system so that we put this into context, and identify outperformers others may miss.
The Foot Anstey Awareness Calendar is a shortlist of days that have been selected for us to celebrate as a firm throughout the year that fit with Foot Anstey’s values and ethos.
Law Society Diversity & Inclusion Charter
The Firm is a signatory to the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter, a commitment for the legal profession.
The Charter is a public commitment by providers of legal services, regardless of practice size, to develop and implement best practice in equality, diversity and inclusion – as employers, as providers of legal services, as purchasers of goods and services and in their wider roles in society. Read more about our commitment to the Charter at the link below.
Current key focus areas for us include:
Focusing on the development of all our people and how we help encourage each to reach their potential.
Agile & Flexible Working
We want to ensure our approach is consistent and that line managers and individuals are empowered to enable this within teams to deliver results.
Client Pitches and work allocation
Ensuring that equal opportunity and inclusion is a natural part of the allocation of work and experiences so ensuring that the teams we put forward to work with clients are appropriately diverse in all respects, especially in thought and creativity to drive client solutions.
Considering further how we recruit from the broadest pool to allow us access to wider quality talent which will make us more effective as a business.
What do we mean by Diversity & Inclusion?
Diversity is any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another. It means respect for and appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion.
But it’s more than this. We all bring with us our social background, diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures. We believe diversity drives business improvement, innovation and growth.
Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. It’s about focusing on the needs of every individual and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve his or her full potential. Inclusion is reflected in an organisation’s culture, practices and relationships.
In simple terms, diversity is the mix; inclusion is getting the mix to work well together.