Hill Dickinson to launch diversity training for staff

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  • This is a great (and long overdue) development. In my experience of having worked there, HD had major problems with sexism and, to a lesser degree, racism. Very much an old-school, old boys club. Nice to think they may be committed to improving.

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  • I agree with anonymous. But I would add that some of HD's backwards-looking "fee earners" also need to be educated that diversity includes people who chose not to do law at university. There is more to a successful business model than charge-out rate.

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  • Completely agree with Anonymous. I've worked at HD and they're definitely one of the most 'closed circle, old-school, boys clubs' I've ever seen.
    In my department, it was obvious that the males ran the show, the female partners were sidelined and almost everyone was middle-class and white.
    If they want to expand commercially whilst diversifying, removing the old faction barriers would be a strong step.
    As far I as have observed, the strongest regional and national firms benefit a lot from hiring ethnic minority lawyers because:
    1 culture of the firm becomes more open and attractive both to potential clients and potential recruits (I mean, just look at AG, Pinsents, Eversheds and DLA - step into any of their offices and you will find an over-representation of ethnic minorities)
    2 some ethnic minority lawyers bring in work through their own racial connections - that's something which being overly closed-shop cannot bring because you don't have the connections and other clients perceive you as an old-school English firm
    3 everyone claims to have conversational language skills but the truth is, unless you've done a degree in a language, you are unlikely to be able to utter more than a few sentences in a foreign language unless you are actually brought up bilingual (which many ethnic minorities are)
    In my opinion ethnic lawyers are generally more hardworking and some of them are down right bloody intelligent.

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  • There is always a reservation when companies announce major diversity awareness training, but lets applaud HD for tryin?. And let's not forget that this isn't just diversity awgareness, this could be very good for business for HD. Better work relationships, better client relationships, better staff retention, talented people progressing and lessworkplace conflict are all business, not just diversity isues. And often the 'old byos networks' will weaken if the 'old boys' can then see this isn't just about women and ethncic minority staff?

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