Diversity and CSR: why law firms are committing to change
The words ‘diversity’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) appear on the majority of law firm websites. But what do firms actually mean by these terms and how important are they?
Initially, diversity focused mainly on an employer’s statutory and legal responsibilities with an emphasis on equal opportunities. The legal obligations have evolved over time, with the Equality Act 2010 being the latest legislation to link diversity and equality and to strengthen an employee’s protection against discrimination in certain situations. The Solicitors Regulation Authority also subjects law firms to requirements on equality and diversity.
Firms have responded accordingly, meeting these changing regulations with an increasing recognition of the importance of attracting a diverse workforce. They have implemented recruitment drives that focus specifically on certain criteria — for example increasing the number of women being recruited into senior positions…
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