I joined Irwin Mitchell’s personal injury team as a trainee solicitor in 2014. At that time, I didn’t know what it would be like to be a gay man working in a large law firm. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to show that side of who I am or whether I would have to keep it hidden in the background.
Working At Irwin Mitchell
Almost from the moment I walked into the office on my first day, I realised that I didn’t have anything to worry about. Irwin Mitchell is a firm which is passionate and proactive when it comes to promoting diversity in our people and culture. We have a number of senior LGBT+ role-models and a national LGBT+ employee network called IM Equal, of which I am a member. The group does a lot of work to promote LGBT+ inclusion and awareness of issues which might affect LGBT+ colleagues and clients.
The enthusiasm the firm has for ensuring an inclusive workplace and culture is very real. As an example, I have been encouraged and supported to build on the work done by IM Equal by setting up a monthly networking event for LGBT+ professionals and by working with a local LGBT+ youth charity to support the fantastic work they do. A lot of my colleagues do great work in other related areas, such as working with trans community charities to provide legal advice and support to their users.
As a solicitor dealing with high value personal injury claims, a lot of my time is spent speaking and meeting with clients. This is the part of my job which I enjoy most. There have been rare occasions when I have been left uncomfortable by comments which clients or other contacts have made regarding the LGBT+ community. Although these moments are very rare, I have always been comforted by knowing that if ever I, or my colleagues, find ourselves in such a situation, we enjoy the full support of Irwin Mitchell.
As I move forward in my career, I do so in the knowledge that I’ll continue to be supported and that my sexuality will never be an issue. If I could go back to 2014 and give myself one piece of advice, it would be to not worry about being myself at work. It is the fact that I can be my authentic self at the office and that my colleagues can be themselves which makes Irwin Mitchell such an inclusive and engaging place to work. Our differences don’t matter because we are all united by our passion for the job we do.