The business case for diversity

14 February 2018




This paper is about the business benefits of a diverse and inclusive legal profession. It provides practical examples of the actions firms can take and what we are doing to support firms.

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  1. The Lammy Review: An independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, BAME individuals in the Criminal Justice System, 2017
  2. See, for example: Why diversity matters, Hunt, V., Layton, D. and Prince, S., McKinsey & Company, 2015; Business and Social Mobility: A manifesto for change, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2013; LGBT: The Value of Diversity, Credit Suisse, 2016; Impact of gender diversity on the boards of the FTSE 100, Cranfield School of Management; We Just Can't Handle Diversity: A research round-up, Burrell, L., Harvard Business Review, July-August 2016; The business case for equality and diversity: a survey of the academic literature, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2013
  3. The power of parity: Advancing women's equality in the United Kingdom, McKinsey & Company, 2016. 38% of this extra GDP could come from increased female participation in the labour force, with participation rising from 76% under the business-as-usual forecast in 2025 to 79%. 35% would come from more women working in the more productive sectors, and 27% from a rise in women's working hours by an average of 25 to 30 minutes a day.
  4. The McGregor-Smith Review: Race in the Workplace , 2017
  5. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace, CIPD, June 2017
  6. Why diversity matters, Hunt, V., Layton, D. and Prince, S., McKinsey & Company, 2015; The McGregor-Smith Review, Race in the Workplace, 2017; Board of Director Diversity and Firm Financial Performance, Erhardt, N.L., Werbel, J.D. and Shrader, C.B., Corporate Governance: An International Review, volume 11, 2003; Corporate Governance, Board Diversity, and Firm Value, Carter, D.A., Simkins, B.J. and Simpson, G., The Financial Review, volume 38, 2003; Does Diversity Pay? Race, Gender and the Business Case for Diversity, Herring, C., American Sociological Review, volume 74, number 2, 2009; Examining the Link between Diversity and Firm Performance, Roberson, Q.M. and Park, H.J., CAHRS Working Paper 06-02, 2006
  7. Based on an analysis of data for 366 public companies across a range of industries in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States: Why diversity matters, Hunt, V., Layton, D. and Prince, S., McKinsey & Company, 2015
  8. " Firms will stagnate without social diversity’ The Times The Brief, 7 June 2017
  9. Managing Cultural Diversity: Implications for Organizational Competitiveness, Cox, T.H. and Blake, S. The ExecutiveVol. 5, No. 3 (Aug 1991), pp. 45-56; The McGregor-Smith Review: Race in the Workplace, 2017; Diversity Management as Calling: Sorry, it's the Wrong Number!', Tatli, A., & Özbilgin, M. F., in Diversity Outlooks, Koall, I., Bruchhagen, V. and F. Höher, F. (Eds.), 2007; Snowy Peaks: Ethnic Diversity at the Top, Runnymede Trust, 2010; Family Friendly Working Hours Taskforce, Flexible Working: working for families, working for business, 2010; Flexible working and work-life balance, Acas, 2015; The business case for equality and diversity: a survey of the academic literature, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 2013
  10. The Apprenticeship Levy Study Legal Sector, trendence UK, 2017
  11. Prime Minister announces new drive to end the gender pay gap, Gov.uk, 2017
  12. Annual Review 2017, Allen & Overy, 2017
  13. The Impact of Diversity and Equality Management on Firm Performance: Beyond High Performance Work Systems, Armstrong, C., Flood, P.C., Guthrie, J.P., Liu, W., MacCurtain, S. and Mkamwa, T., Human Resource Management, volume 49, 2010
  14. Unlocking the benefits of diversity, SRA, 2017
  15. The lawyer who works from his garden on some of the best-known cases in Britain, Legal Cheek, September 2017
  16. White Paper: Hacking Diversity with Inclusive Decision Making, Cloverpop, 2017; The Impact of Diversity and Equality Management on Firm Performance: Beyond High Performance Work Systems, Armstrong, C., Flood, P.C., Guthrie, J.P., Liu, W., MacCurtain, S. and Mkamwa, T., Human Resource Management, volume 49, 2010
  17. ‘All lawyers' refers to both the solicitors, and other lawyers, and the partners in the law firms that we regulate.
  18. ‘Solicitors' refers to the solicitors and other lawyers, such as barristers or chartered legal executives, in the law firms that we regulate.
  19. ‘Partners' refers to the solicitor partners, sole practitioners and members or directors in the law firms that we regulate.
  20. Official Statistics: Disability facts and figures, Department for Work & Pensions and Office for Disability Issues, 2014; Analysis of Labour Force Survey, 2015
  21. Independent Schools Council, 2015
  22. Mapping advantages and disadvantages: Diversity in the legal profession in England and Wales, Centre for Employment Relations and Innovation and Change, University of Leeds and Newcastle University Business School, 2016
  23. Why Your Diversity Program May Be Helping Women but Not Minorities (or Vice Versa), Apfelbaum, E., Harvard Business Review, August 2016
  24. State of the nation 2016: social mobility in Great Britain, Social Mobility Commission, 2016
  25. Introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination: Monitoring and Maximising Diversity, Bridge Group, 2017
  26. A qualitative evaluation of non-educational barriers to the elite professions, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2015
  27. Diversity League Table, Black Solicitors Network, 2017
  28. Baseline attainment data: legal education, training and post-qualification, SRA, 2015
  29. Performance Indicators: Widening participation of under-represented groups, HESA, 2016; A qualitative evaluation of non-educational barriers to the elite professions, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2015
  30. Diversity League Table, Black Solicitors Network, 2017
  31. The Fairness Project: equipping students to maximise employability, McKee, T., Nir, R., Hervey, T., Griffiths, E., Alexander, J., and Cairns, J., 2017
  32. Introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination: Monitoring and Maximising Diversity, Bridge Group, 2017
  33. Barriers to the legal profession, Legal Services Board, 2010; The McGregor-Smith Review: Race in the Workplace, 2017
  34. State of the nation 2016: social mobility in Great Britain, Social Mobility Commission, 2016
  35. A qualitative evaluation of non-educational barriers to the elite professions, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2015
  36. Why the Difference? Issues Facing Minority Ethnic Graduates, Institute of Education 2016; More evidence on the power of role models, The Behavioural Insights Team, 2017
  37. Why the Difference? Issues Facing Minority Ethnic Graduates, Institute of Education, 2016; Race to Progress, BITC, 2011
  38. The PwC diversity journey: Creating impact, achieving results, PwC, 2016
  39. A qualitative evaluation of non-educational barriers to the elite professions, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2015
  40. The McGregor-Smith Review: Race in the Workplace, 2017
  41. A Test for Racial Discrimination in Recruitment Practice in British Cities, Department for Work and Pensions, 2009; Why Do Skilled Immigrants Struggle in the Labor Market? A Field Experiment with Thirteen Thousand Resumes, Oreopoulos, P., American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 3, 2011; Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination, Bertrand, M. and Mullainathan, S. National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 9873, 2003; A Test for Racial Discrimination in Recruitment Practice in British Cities, Department for Work and Pensions, 2009
  42. Levelling the playing field in police recruitment: Evidence from a field experiment on test performance, Linos E, Reinhard J, and Ruda S., Public Admin. 95:943–956, 2017; How government can recruit innovative talent, Nesta, May 2016; Helping to remove recruitment bias: We invest in Applied, Nesta, November 2017; Would you hire on the toss of a coin?, The Behavioural Insights Team, 2016
  43. EY's 'blind CV' policy for all trainee applications has inspired surge in workforce diversity, Independent, February 2017
  44. Government lawyers discriminated against autistic student with training contract test, EAT rules, Legal Futures, May 2017
  45. Why Diversity Programs Fail: And what works better, Dobbin, F. and Kalev, A., Harvard Business Review, July-August 2016
  46. See for example, Why Diversity Programs Fail: And what works better, Dobbin, F. and Kalev, A., Harvard Business Review, July-August 2016; How can law firms ‘raise the floor' for diversity, equality and inclusion?, Simons, L., 2017
  47. The PwC diversity journey: Creating impact, achieving results, PwC, 2016
  48. Prime Minister announces new drive to end the gender pay gap, Gov.uk, 2017; For research about advertising jobs as flexible, see: How flexible working can improve gender equality in the workplace, The Behavioural Insights Team, 2017
  49. Prime Minister announces new drive to end the gender pay gap, Gov.uk, 2017
  50. The PwC diversity journey: Creating impact, achieving results, PwC, 2016
  51. Introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination: Monitoring and Maximising Diversity, Bridge Group, 2017