Working together to promote diversity

Cat Farrow, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at CILEx Regulation, shares her thoughts from the recent Westminster Legal Policy Forum on next steps for improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal sector.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Westminster Legal Policy Forum about a subject very close to my heart. A packed room of lawyers, academics, policymakers, regulators and many others explored next steps for improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal sector. Our Chief Executive, Helen Whiteman, spoke alongside representatives from the other legal regulators about how we have moved beyond data collection by acting on what the data has shown. The speakers had a clear shared belief that talented professionals should be able to flourish, regardless of their background or circumstances. Helen was proud to be able to stand up and talk about everything CILEx and CILEx Regulation stand for – and got some fantastic feedback from the floor.

I felt inspired, fascinated and more than once, struck hard by how much more work we have to do. But what the session really brought home to me was the importance of collaboration. I know there’s nothing earthshattering or original about this as a conclusion, but these issues are deep-rooted and complex and multidimensional. No one organisation, however well-intentioned, can address them singlehanded.

We have much more to do – and we need your help. Part of this is about data – so please do fill in your 2019 diversity survey when it appears in your Inbox in July. Part of it is about building a deep understanding of the issues among the people we regulate. So you will see us taking steps to do this through more engagement and qualitative research.

But a really important part of it is about awareness. Not just awareness of diversity as an issue, but awareness of CILEx and CILEx Regulation as a positive choice that helps professionals thrive, progress and even run their own successful firms. So please tell people your stories – your successes as well as your challenges. Help us spread the word and help create a legal profession that better reflects the communities it serves.


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