BDB’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Group was established in 2008 to review all aspects of diversity and inclusion within the firm. The Strategy Group meets on a quarterly basis and is responsible for identifying and setting the agenda and establishing the business case for all diversity and inclusion related activities. They also review and analyse diversity and inclusion initiatives, policies, procedures and practices. The Strategy Group welcomes ideas for new initiatives from across the firm.
Our Diversity Champions are volunteers representing all areas of BDB, from Partners to Paralegals and members of our support teams. Alongside the Strategy Group, the Diversity Champions drive forward the work we do across all diversity strands. They provide feedback and opinions to the Strategy Group, help promote firmwide initiatives and act as role models for inclusive behaviour.
We are a founding member of LeGal BesT; a network of mid-size law firms with a focus on issues and support for their lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) staff. While discussions and events are based on areas mostly affecting LGBT employees, the group is open to anyone with an interest in supporting their LGBT colleagues and diversity in general.
We are a proud Stonewall Diversity Champion. Stonewall are a lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) charity who ‘support individuals to work out how they can make a difference for LGBT people at work, home and in their communities’. We take part in their annual WEI Index, the definitive benchmarking tool for employers to measure their progress on lesbian, gay, bi and trans inclusion in the workplace, and take on board Stonewall’s feedback to ensure we continue to be inclusive of our LGBT colleagues.
BDB is proud to be an Affiliate Member of Aspiring Solicitors, an award winning access scheme aimed at improving diversity in the legal profession. Through Aspiring Solicitors we offer opportunities to network with people in the firm, work placements as well as information and guidance through our Professional Ambassadors.
In addition to working with Aspiring Solicitors we offer access to work experience for students from Palmers College and a 6 week internship with Career Ready.
We are a signatory of The Law Society’s Diversity Charter, a public commitment by legal practices to promote the values of diversity, equality and inclusion throughout their firm. Charter members are required to complete an annual self-assessment against a set of protocols designed to support practices to fulfil their commitments in key business areas. In 2015, BDB was recognised as demonstrating best practice in the area of monitoring and review and engagement with staff, clients and community.
We hold Lunch and Learn talks throughout the year. Over the years, we have worked with speakers and trainers from a variety of organisations including MIND, Talking Talent, Inclusive Diversity and Employees Matter to host a variety of interesting lunch and learn sessions. Examples of some of the themes we have held include ‘sleep’, ‘valuing communication differences’, ‘dealing with difficult conversations’, ‘time management for working parents’, ‘developing mental health resilience’, ‘first aid for parents’ and ‘unconscious bias’.
In addition to our Lunch and Learn seminars we hold an annual Diversity Week with the aim of raising awareness of a variety of diversity and inclusion topics. Previous topics have included; mental health and wellbeing, disability, dyslexia, mindfulness, being inclusive, widening access to the legal profession, insights from other organisations, caring and changing attitudes to LGBT rights.
We are committed to ensuring that every member of the firm understands the key importance of maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment at BDB. With this in mind, all new members of the firm are required to attend a session on Diversity and Inclusion at BDB and unconscious bias training, facilitated by an external diversity consultant.
Our diversity and inclusion Intranet page provides all employees with useful and interesting information, links and news related to our diversity and inclusion activities.