Clyde & Co is preparing to overhaul its diversity and inclusion (D&I) programme in an effort to improve gender and social representation in its partnership.
Global HR director Pauline Caldwell was promoted to the senior position in August having previously been UK HR director. She is currently conducting a root and branch review of the firm’s D&I schemes and plans to present a new programme to the firm’s board in January.
The plan is to have in place core achievable objectives that will be applied globally rather than taking a scatter gun approach across each of Clydes’ jurisdictions.
In the UK the firm recently rolled out its apprenticeship scheme across its London, Oxford and Guildford offices. The firm launched the scheme in Manchester in May last year, giving a career pathway for school leavers into its personal injury practice.
The scheme is being led by head of legal trainee recruitment and development Caroline Walsh.
Caldwell said the scheme “is more focused on recruiting people from different backgrounds rather than gender diversity”.
Gender diversity was not an issue at recruitment stage, she added, but did become a factor as fee-earners moved up the ranks to become partners.
To that end the firm has recently been piloted a senior leadership programme in the UK, with seven people participating – three of which are women. The scheme was initially launched in the Middle East but is now being pushed at home.
Clydes’ board will be asked in January to approve plans to refresh its D&I policies with the focus being on core areas to ensure that objectives are met.
Caldwell said the firm was in the midst of assessing what those objectives might be with its four regional HR heads asked to feedback what their key needs were.
“We’re looking at what are the one or two good things we need to do for the next year that will really make a difference to our gender and diversity intake,” Caldwell said.
At the 2014/15 year end female partners accounted for 19.1 per cent of the partnership, 58 of a total 303 partners. The number of full equity partners stood at 21 out of a total 165, just 12.7 per cent. Over the last three years the number of female partner promotions totalled nine out of 29 – 31 per cent.