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Global Graduates, the organisation that mentors students from disadvantaged and state school backgrounds, has launched a major audit of law firms' diversity policies.
The Diversity Manage-ment Survey (DMS) will look at diversity across the board, including reviewing recruitment practices and whether the processes are equal. Global Graduates chief executive Yolande Beckles told The Lawyer: "Never before has the City let anybody through their doors in this way."
The DMS was launched on 30 November - one year on from the launch of the 'common diversity in law' initiative. As first reported by The Lawyer (29 November 2004), nine top City firms, including Allen & Overy, Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Weil Gotshal & Manges, signed a statement of intent underlining the seriousness with which diversity is taken. Since its launch, 37 firms have signed up to the initiative.
Of the 37 firms, 17 have allowed Global Graduates access to trainees and HR and graduate recruitment teams. During the first stage of the DMS, trainees will be asked to complete questionnaires. This will be followed by a series of focus groups, which will anyalse the results of the questionnaires. At the end of the audit, Global Graduates will produce a report, which will include recommendations as to how firms can improve their diversity policies.
"Collating data and producing league tables only goes so far, because firms can interpret data differently," said Beckles.