In separate moves, Herbert Smith and Pinsent Masons are setting up employee networks in a drive to enhance workplace diversity.
Pinsents held an initial meeting this summer to thrash out a structure to represent female, gay, ethnic minority, religious and part-time workers.
HR director Jonathan Bond told The Lawyer: “We’re looking to have one or two people in the business to represent that issue so people talk to them on a confidential basis.
“We sought volunteers on an open basis, although in reality a lot of the people who have come forward have an interest in different issues.”
Pinsents hired Bond, Allen & Overy‘s (A&O) UK head of HR, in the summer to spearhead new initiatives to support the firm’s growth strategy.
At Pinsents Bond is responsible for the firm’s entire HR strategy and will be expected to bring in innovations to support the firm’s growth.
Bond spent 10 years at A&O, where he was responsible for all UK HR as well as the global corporate practice.
Herbert Smith inclusivity manager Carolyn Lee and partner Martina Asmar are coordinating Herbert Smith’s employee networks, which are similar in structure to Pinsents’.
The firms are advising investment banks, such as JPMorgan, which last week announced a new network for gay workers as a template.