I, John Lawrence, commit to:

I will demonstrate this commitment by:

Providing visible and proactive leadership to improve D&I in my organisation

  • Being personally involved in, and contributing to, D&I projects and events
  • Liaising regularly with our D&I issues partner

Taking D&I seriously at the highest level

  • Including D&I as a regular agenda item at board/partnership meetings
  • Be aware of D&I issues when I make my recruitment decisions and when I assess the shape of the firm

Embedding and valuing D&I throughout the organisational culture

  • Not accepting exclusive behaviour when I see it
  • Ensuring that the teams I run know that D&I is seen by me as being essential and not optional
  • Insisting on true D&I, including people who have a range of tendencies to be liberal and tolerant, people who like me, and including people who don’t like me for who I am, and including people who do not fit current trends of thought, and those who do
  • Embracing a range of different balance points in work life balance attitudes

Building trust and safe spaces throughout the organisation

  • Maintaining our long-standing zero-tolerance policy on discrimination and harassment
  • Encouraging all staff, at all levels, to be as open or as private as they choose about their identities – supporting them in seeing it as their business, and leading by example in sharing my own identity and experiences, as and when I feel I want to, without forcing it on people
  • Supporting the promotion of our wellbeing room, and that access to our support helplines is available
  • Supporting our mental health first-aider program

Educating myself and my colleagues about D&I issues

  • Maintaining the diverse social contact I have with the wide sections of society with whom I engage to absorb input from all sources
  • Attending D&I training and discussions, such as those of IP Inclusive

Sharing my privileges

  • Sharing and being proud of having been part of promoting 7 women to full partnership over the years – over three quarters of all partnerships appointed by my firm since I became a partner, and spreading the message that diverse firms do exist
  • Encouraging the view that anyone can escape poverty by education, challenging why some groups do worse in our school system, and giving opportunities to all equally when they are the best candidate for an IP attorney trainee job or any support job, including jobs dominated by a specific gender
  • Carrying on the work experience schemes we run and ensuring the entrants for those schemes are diverse.

Insisting on equity

  • Carrying on our fair, diversity-enhancing recruitment and promotion procedures throughout my organisation
  • Not tolerating prejudice in recruitment, or any other area
  • Widening the channels through which we advertise vacancies, including through a range of external recruitment consultants, Twitter, LinkedIn, university websites, our website, and a friends and families introduction scheme
  • Continuing our success in recruiting from socio-economic disadvantaged people

Working closely with HR and/or management colleagues to achieve this

  • Periodic meetings with our HR Departmental head and HR partner to exchange views and discuss D&I, our current position, and any appropriate initiatives
  • Encouraging board/partnership level colleagues to assess the diversity of the areas of the firm for which they have responsibility and decision-making powers.

We are proud of what we have already achieved but we know we can never become complacent. We need to keep evolving and educating.