Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

‘Acting in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion’

Overview

The legal services market serves a diverse society. It provides access to justice for all sections of the community and employs staff from many different backgrounds.

Under the Legal Services Act 2007, regulators have a responsibility to ‘encourage an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession.’ In July 2011, the Legal Services Board published its paper ‘increasing diversity and social mobility in the legal workforce: transparency and evidence’ which included statutory guidance for regulatory bodies within the legal profession.

The Law Society’s Equality & Diversity Framework sets out a series of established priorities addressing barriers to career progression based on gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Its Diversity and Inclusion Charter defines a commitment to diversity and inclusion in attracting and retaining the best talent and in understanding and meeting clients’ needs more effectively.

The SRA Code of Conduct has, as within its their overarching Principles, that solicitors should act in a way that encourages equality, diversity and inclusion.

This highly interactive workshop, through a series of case studies and film extracts requires each delegate to examine the role they must play in promoting equality and diversity and the importance of respecting others, whatever their differences.

Content

  • What is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and why are these concepts important?
  • Equality & Diversity and the Regulatory Bodies
  • The Law Society’s Equality & Diversity Framework
  • The legal basis for equality – The Equality Act 2010 – the protected characteristics
  • The SRA Code of Conduct – the need for a policy that is applied throughout the practice
  • Prohibited conduct – direct and indirect discrimination, discrimination by association and perception, victimisation, harassment
  • Bullying – offensive, intimidation, malicious or insulting behaviour intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
  • Management and individuals responsibilities in providing equality through general good practice in relation to gender and transgender, race and culture; religion or belief; sexual orientation; age and disability
  • Working with someone with special requirements such as speech impairment, visual impairment, hearing loss, reading and visual difficulties.
  • Developing cultural and social awareness
  • Avoiding discriminatory language and attitudes – guidelines to avoid giving offence
  • Breaking down the barriers
  • Challenging unacceptable behaviours

Outcomes

By the end of the workshop, delegates will:

  • have a clear understanding of the importance placed on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion by both the SRA and the Law Society
  • have a clear understanding of the concepts of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and have removed the mystery and misconceptions surrounding these phrases
  • be better equipped to deal with challenging situations with colleagues and clients
  • have an improved understanding and social awareness of why people behave differently and thus reduce the incidence of insulting and unintentionally discriminatory behaviour in the work place

Duration: 2 hours