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28 May 2021

Stephenson Harwood introduces diversity targets


Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has introduced an ethnicity action plan and committed to a set of targets to increase diversity and inclusion at the firm.

“When it comes to ethnic diversity, the legal sector has a lot to do and we have a lot to do,” said Stephenson Harwood chief executive, Eifion Morris. “We recognise and accept that change is needed and we’re committed to doing better. The introduction of our action plan and the targets we’ve set, alongside the steps and progress we’ve already made in this area, reflect that commitment.”

The firm’s targets include:

  • 10% minority ethnic partners by 1 May 2025.
  • Proportional retention of minority ethnic lawyers and business services colleagues each year.
  • 30% ethnic minority trainees, of whom 10% would be Black, each year.

The action plan includes several initiatives to increase diversity at the firm, some of which are already underway. The firm established a reverse mentoring programme last year, to focus on race and ethnicity and help develop the understanding of the firm’s leaders about the experiences and perspectives of minority ethnic colleagues.

There has been a focus on improving the data captured, so that trends can be identified, progress monitored, and appropriate action taken. In addition to the statutory pay gap reporting, the firm is now monitoring pay and promotion decisions by ethnicity and voluntarily publishing its ethnicity pay gap.

This year, the firm has also launched a Black Talent Programme in partnership with Aspiring Solicitors to specifically increase the number of Black trainees at the firm. The programme will support Black students by providing mentors, skills development workshops, designated placement opportunities and guaranteed places on an assessment centre.

“Our ethnicity targets are focused on recruiting and retaining Black and minority ethnic colleagues at all levels in the firm,” said Liz Cope, Stephenson Harwood’s D&I manager. “We want to be an inclusive and diverse firm, where all our people feel they can be themselves and thrive at work. By being focused and transparent about the goals we’ve set and the actions that we will take to achieve those, we are confident that we will make real progress.”

To read the firm's action plan, click here



Andrew Rieley
Head of communications and PR
T: +44 20 7809 2886
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