Osborne Clarke's Bristol-based Partner Julian Hemming has graciously accepted The Stepping Up Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity. The award was presented by Stepping Up's Programme Director, Christine Bamford at the Stepping Up Workshop programme which was held at the firm's Temple Back office.

Partner Julian Hemming has supported the Bristol-based programme as a mentor since its inception in 2018. Since then, over a hundred mentors from across all sectors have given their time to support Stepping Up participants from Bristol as well as Gloucester, Gloucestershire and Bath. Their contribution is invaluable to past and future cohort members who have taken up local and national leadership positions.

"At Osborne Clarke, diversity and inclusion are integral to our business strategy"

Julian commented: "I am humbled to be recognised for my contribution to diversity in the community with this award. It has been a pleasure to be involved and witness the impact of Stepping Up over the past years as we strive to tackle inequality in the South West region.

"At Osborne Clarke, diversity and inclusion are integral to our business strategy. We understand the importance of promoting equality, and are committed to developing a culture where all our people feel respected, treated fairly and are able to give their best."

Stepping Up's Programme Director, Christine Bamford, commented on the award: “Julian has been an inclusion ally and ambassador for the Stepping Up diversity leadership programme – transforming the lives of so many.  His commitment to mentoring embraced empathy and empowerment, which inspired his mentees to “step up."  We truly could not have launched Stepping Up without Julian’s personal support."

Stepping Up aims to unlock potential and develop talent while ensuring a fair representation of Black, Asian, ethnic minority, disabled people and women in positions of leadership. The programme has achieved remarkable outcomes in the acceleration of career development and enhancing civic leadership. Now in its fourth year,  Stepping Up has supported more than 300 diverse leaders who have graduated or are due to graduate and 170 have secured new roles or set up their own businesses.

Earlier this year, Osborne Clarke was recognised as a Diversity Champion Employer in Bristol City Council's Stepping Up Excellence Awards.

In addition to the support Osborne Clarke provides externally, it is also has a number of learning and development programmes which are available for all its people. Most recently it launched the OC Career Speaker Series, a unique and ambitious personal development and career growth initiative supporting areas including building personal brand, empowering beliefs and growing presence. Alongside the firm-wide sessions, a successful pilot programme was targeted at women, ethnic minorities and business services teams that provided additional coaching and support.

The firm also has an established lawyer development programme to support its fee earners at key legal career milestones; one-to-one coaching focused on developing potential, transitioning to new roles and returning to work following parental or sabbatical leave; and a mentoring programme that pairs colleagues together to help develop ability, skill and confidence.   

Stepping Up Award - Julian

Pictured LtR: Stepping Up Programme Director Christine Bamford, Jennifer Gilbert and Julian Hemming.

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