Pinsent Masons has become one of the first law firms to expand its diversity push to cover its suppliers, demanding that they conform to the firm's own policy.
The firm's major suppliers of IT and telecoms are the first to be targeted and the firm's chief outsourcing partner Exigent has already signed up to the policy.
Jonathan Bond, HR director at Pinsents, said: "We're asking our major suppliers to provide us with a copy of their diversity policy. We've given them our diversity policy and asked them to confirm whether they comply with that or to give us a copy of theirs." The move mirrors that of JPMorgan, which this month met with panel firms to make sure they were in line with the bank's policy on lesbian and gay employees.
Bond said not all suppliers had responded yet, but he had received positive feedback from those that had.
Pinsents outsources all of its bulk typing and transcription services to Exigent, which is based in South Africa, and it has been the first to get involved.
Bond said requesting a diversity policy also helps the firm check up on the quality of its suppliers.
"From a commercial point of view, part of it was we want to know that our suppliers have best practices in all areas," said Bond.
Pinsents worked with lesbian and gay pressure group Stonewall to develop its own diversity policy.
Bond said: "Our approach to diversity stems from our values, which include respect and cooperation. The policy reflects that."