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Osborne Clarke signs the Race Fairness Commitment and the Race at Work Charter


Written on 29 September 2020

Osborne Clarke has signed the Race Fairness Commitment and the Race at Work Charter.

The pledges are part of Osborne Clarke’s commitment to address the systemic challenges that are holding back the recruitment, retention and progression of BAME staff in legal firms. Over the last three years, Osborne Clarke has been investing in diversifying its workforce using the RARE recruitment tool, outreach programmes and by broadening its routes to qualification.

As 2020 has shown, race equality is still something that needs to be addressed with urgency.  The Race at Work Charter and the Race Fairness Commitment provide a framework for Osborne Clarke to create targeted action plans and drive fair outcomes for black and other ethnic minority staff through all points of the employee lifecycle.

Osborne Clarke’s recently appointed head of inclusion and corporate responsibility, Bola Gibson, commented: “2020 has truly pulled back the covers on race in the workplace. We’ve had some difficult, but honest and fruitful conversations in the firm, and we know that now is the time to put in place meaningful actions that will drive the outcomes we’ve been seeking. Those outcomes include growing the representation of black and other ethnic minority staff at the firm, at all levels, but also challenging ourselves to build a firm culture that is even more inclusive and able to reap the rewards of the diversity dividend.”

Speaking on behalf of Osborne Clarke’s executive board, Ray Berg commented: “We have been making progress over the years, but not nearly as fast as we needed or wanted to. The race commitments we are making today, will help to really drive forward the outcomes we have been seeking and build the more diverse firm we all want.”

The Race at Work Charter is an action oriented, general business charter which is managed by Business in the Community and backed by the Government.

Developed by Rare Recruitment and born out of recognition that the legal sector were struggling to retain ethnic minority, and specifically black talent, the Race Fairness Commitment is designed to drive meaningful outcomes in organisations. These outcomes track the employee lifecycle from recruitment all the way through to exit, using data to indicate whether the organisation’s systems and processes are delivering fair and equitable outcomes for ethnic minority employees.

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