Law firm achieves UK '1st' for equality and diversity
Simpson Millar will become the first UK law firm to achieve the Diversity in Business Accreditation (Excellence) from the EW Group
To gain this independent stamp of approval, the firm had to satisfy assessors that the principles of equality and diversity are firmly embedded right across all its business
Simpson Millar’s management team considered this particular accreditation to be especially important because the firm represents a highly diverse client base
which includes Trade Union members, families, small businesses and large corporates.
Commenting on the award, managing partner, Peter Watson
said: "This accreditation is a significant accomplishment and sends out a powerful message that we are determined to place equality and diversity at the heart of everything we do."
"For many years Simpson Millar has had a clear commitment to equality and diversity and this is simply the next step – enabling us to demonstrate clearly that our entire operation embraces the revised Equality Act 2010."
The accreditation process involved an audit of the firm’s equal opportunities and corporate social responsibility policies
, as well as its entire office manual
. Simpson Millar had to provide evidence that it supports equality and diversity through its procurement policies, recruitment procedures, and staff training and development
programmes. By way of an example; of the firm’s 31 partners, 17 are women.
Peter Watson added: "Undergoing the accreditation procedure has also delivered major benefits to the firm, such as improved client satisfaction and employee retention, and a stronger brand which has generated competitive advantage."
"To say the exercise was worthwhile would be an understatement: it has enabled us to take an uncompromising, but ultimately rewarding look at ourselves, and there is no area of activity that has not directly benefited."
Jane Farrell, Chief Executive EW Group, said: "We are delighted that Simpson Millar has proved that the firm is at the cutting edge of best practice. By being the first law firm to achieve accreditation at the highest level
, they have demonstrated a deep understanding of the business case for diversity."