- The firm to launch rolling inclusion allies programme in November
- Commits to ensure inclusion is part of its procurement and supply chain practices
Having joined Business in the Community's (BITC's) Race at Work Charter as signatories in September 2020, Osborne Clarke is now taking further action and signing up to the expanded Charter.
The firm is making two additional commitments by supporting race inclusion allies in its workplace and committing to include Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in its supply chains.
"We're always on the look-out for ways to collaborate with our clients, local businesses and other law firms – rallying together to bring change. With more than 900 companies signed up to BITC's Race at Work Charter, we're proud to be one of many organisations committing to improve equality of workplace opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities.
"One of the biggest issues facing legal firms is retaining diverse, especially Black, Asian, and Mixed Race, talent. It's something were looking at very closely and planning a number of programmes to support the targets we set earlier this year - 30% women and 6% ethnic minorities in partnership by 2025.
"Saying you're an inclusive employer only gets you so far, your people have to feel they are supported each day they come to work. Consistent changes can have a big impact on creating a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment over time," said Rajindh Mangat, Partner and Ethnicity Champion at Osborne Clarke.
Inclusion allies programme
Osborne Clarke is set to launch a new inclusion allies programme in November. The programme aims to empower its people to take meaningful action to support peers, colleagues and team members to proactively drive an inclusive culture.
The monthly hour-long sessions, hosted by expert facilitators, will help to build knowledge around topics related to the firm's six diversity strands: gender, social diversity, mind and body, age, ethnic diversity and LGBT+, while also equipping participants with the practical skills to practice alllyship. The programme, initially focussing on race and ethnicity, will run on a continuous cycle to support the ongoing journey of learning and self-awareness that allies commit to.
"Being an ally is a lifelong journey of learning and educating yourself so that you can reflect, shrink your blind spots and increase your empathy for other people's lived experiences," said Rajindh.
Ethnically diverse supply chains
To ensure diversity in its supply chains, the firm will continue to treat its SME suppliers with care and respect, including committing to prompt payment. A review of our procurement processes is planned for 2023. The review will identify opportunities to align procurement practices to the firm's OC for Good framework for responsible business – and will include a focus on diversity and environmental sustainability.
Diversity and inclusion are integral to the firm's five-year 2025 business strategy which strives to deliver meaningful change and better outcomes for the firm's clients, people, communities and business.
The firm's race and ethnicity employee network (OC REACH) provides challenge and support to the firm, giving actionable insight, and encouraging education and understanding around the challenges affecting minority communities.
The firm continues to invest in programmes that support the progression of racial and ethnic minorities including being early supporters of the Stepping Up programme. As part of its work with the #10,000 Black Interns Programme, a group of 11 interns completed a six-week programme with Osborne Clarke, and the firm plans to expand the highly successful programme for 2023.
Osborne Clarke is currently in a partnership with the trailblazing UK art education project The World Reimagined, which aims to promote a better understanding of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and its ongoing impact on society in order to make racial justice a reality.
The firm won the award for Best Diversity and Inclusion programme at the Business Leader Awards in mid-September and was highly commended in the same category at the 2022 Modern Law Awards.