A Progress Update On Our Race At Work Commitment
Two years on from signing Business in the Community's (BiTC) Race At Work Charter, we're continuing our commitment to improving diversity and inclusion at Irwin Mitchell.
Last year, the Charter was expanded to include allyship and inclusive supply chain commitments and we've renewed our commitment in signing up to this.
Active allyship is one of our priorities and is being incorporated into our work on bullying and harassment. This has included anti-racism webinars during National Inclusion Week supporting our colleagues to be race inclusion allies.
Our progress so far:
1. Appoint an Executive Sponsor for race
Susana Berlevy (Chief People Officer) is our executive sponsor for race and also chairs the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Board, driving our D&I strategy and commitments under the Race At Work Charter.
We've also appointed Zeeshan Maqbool as a sponsor for IM Respect, our network on ethnicity, culture, and faith, to increase senior leadership engagement on our race agenda.
2. Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress
We've voluntarily published our ethnicity pay gap as part of our Pay Gap Report for the third year running.
We're encouraging our colleagues to share their diversity information to understand the issues so we can take action. To support this, we've developed a new dashboard to identify key issues relating to representation and our People processes.
We reported on our ethnicity data in our first Responsible Business Report and will publish this again later this year. We've also included measures on ethnicity in our Group Balanced Scorecard.
3. Commit at board level to zero-tolerance approach to harassment and bullying
We've adopted a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment. We reinforced this commitment in the wake of the abhorrent racial abuse aimed at England football players, with a reminder of the support available for any colleagues experiencing bullying or harassment.
BiTC have completed an external review of our policies and held listening circles with our colleagues to hear about their experiences to ensure our zero-tolerance approach is fit for purpose.
We'll be expanding our policy to cover clients and contractors, in line with changes to the new Race At Work Charter.
4. Make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the responsibility of all leaders and managers
Our Group Executive Committee (GEC) has agreed to mandatory training on D&I, including inclusive leadership training for our leaders and line managers. We'll be rolling this out later in the year.
In response to emerging insight on career progression, including feedback from our participation in BiTC's Race At Work survey, the GEC has also endorsed two specific line manager actions on D&I, including supporting the career progression of colleagues from minority ethnic backgrounds.
5. Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression
We've taken part in BiTC's Cross-Organisational Mentoring Circles Programme for the second time. This programme is specifically aimed at colleagues from minority ethnic backgrounds
We're piloting a reciprocal mentoring scheme, developed with IM Respect, aimed at supporting the career progression of minority ethnic colleagues and increasing understanding of race diversity and inclusion among our leaders.
We'll continue to be corporate members of the Black Solicitors Network, advertising our vacancies to increase applications from existing and aspiring Black solicitors
We've also carried out a review of our promotions data by diversity characteristics which we're using to inform our Promotions process.