Rising up

Stonewall – the LGB lobbying group – published its Top 100 Employers List today, highlighting those organisations that have taken strides to create more equal workplaces. And every legal employer that made it into the top 100 improved its respective ranking on last year (see story).

Top of the class is Simmons & Simmons, which made it to 15th place this year, up on its position last year at number 31. Pinsent Masons, Herbert Smith and Eversheds all made it in too.

This group all conduct LGBT awareness training and carry out monitoring on sexual orientation, while some encourage their suppliers to be diverse as well.

But despite the efforts of this quartet, the legal sector as a whole is conspicuously absent from the top 100 employers, which is dominated by police forces, local authorities and banks.

Andrew Taggart, an employment partner at Herbert Smith who sits on the firm’s inclusivity and LGBT groups, says that it’s a historical problem, which may lead LGBT people to pursue careers outside the law.

That’s why Herbies has begun a mentoring scheme for LGBT university students. It’s a smart way of changing perceptions of the law as being old-fashioned, while also enabling the firm to recruit from a wider pool of talent. Read more about this in The Lawyer next Monday.

Of course it may also have the added advantage of helping Herbies soar further up the Stonewall rankings.

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Also on TheLawyer.com: Latham scoops Ashurst partner for City corporate push; Pillsbury posts drops in revenue and profit for 2009; and Revenue down at Paul Weiss as PEP nudges up.