Lucinda Case, Lead, Legal Professionals, Europe, Thomson Reuters
The State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession (Fireside Chat)
A year-end series of polls in the UK found that racial discrimination, despite an international focus upon it, is increasing. This, coupled with the lingering sting of an international #Metoo movement, created a bleak outlook for protections put in place for underrepresented populations worldwide. This opening session explores the current state of diversity and inclusion, bringing into focus the commonalities in our differences and the changing concerns of creating an equal future for all.
Keynote: A Leading Institution? An Examination of Gender Balance and Diversity in the Nation’s Highest Court
With the retirement of Lady Hale of Richmond, DBE from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in January 2020, the scales of gender diversity on the Court tipped slightly further from true gender equality. Moreover, one also cannot help but notice that there is also no racial diversity represented on the current court. Now, as Lord Reed succeeds Lady Hale, there are renewed calls for a diverse bench, even coming from the new President himself. Join us as we discuss the future of the UK’s highest court and how the visibility of diversity (or lack thereof) affects the nation’s legal industry.
Breakout 1: In Solidarity: Practical Exercises to Amplify Others (Breakout)
Amplification is a process by which women support the work of other women in professional situations when their ideas might have otherwise been overlooked. It has been utilised and documented as a successful process of encouraging inclusivity in a variety of industries in different parts of the globe. The process is proven, but what are the actual methods one uses to employ it and how does one go about gaining support for it within their own organisation? This session will invite participants to explore opportunities to amplify the ideas of others in a scenario-driven exercise.
Breakout 2: Alone on the Inside: Addressing the Growing Mental Health Crisis in the Legal Field (Breakout)
A survey by the Law Society of England and Wales noted that almost all solicitors complain of job stress, with 17% pointing to the extreme nature of the stress. The highly detailed nature of legal work coupled with longer than normal work hours and performance pressure from clients creates a potential tinder box for every professional in the field. Given the preponderance of potential mental health issues for legal professionals, it is important for those in the field to understand the warning signs of poor mental health. This session joins experts in both the medical and legal fields to discuss what legal professionals and legal leadership can do to raise mental health awareness, while helping themselves and others in the process.
Breakout 3: Leading Forward: Opening Opportunities within the C-Suite for Women and BAME (Breakout)
Though professional service industries are doing more to improve the pipeline for women and underrepresented groups, there remains very little movement in continuous progression towards leadership for both. While many organisations have been doing more to bolster recruitment and retention progression into middle management, can change be more effective from a top-down model? How can firms encourage change from within for a more diverse executive team? What role to do clients play in these changes? This session welcomes discussion around how to increase diversity and inclusion at the leadership team of the firm.
Report Out – Workshops
Breakout 1: What’s in a Number?: Eradicating Misperceptions Based On Ageism (Breakout)
The Equality Act 2010 expressly forbids employers from discrimination against age unless employers have ‘objectively justified’ reasons. Though this law attempts to promote the fair employment of aging employees, ageism is much more than an issue of numbers. Along with misconstrued beliefs around experience (or lack thereof), comes fallacies around abilities, both intellectual and physical, as well as assumptions that an individual is defined by the qualities of their generation. Our panel will explore the issues in seeing an individual through a generational lens. Our panel will also discuss how organisations can help drive the conversation in order to encourage a workforce of ideas, talents, and skills rather than a workplace built upon age limitations.
Breakout 2: The Road Less Travelled: Exploring Alternative Legal Career Pathways (Breakout)
Upon entry into law school, most new students were traditionally led to law firms or the Bar. However, given the growth of the legal field, legal competitors, in-house legal departments, and the rise of technology in the field—these other paths are quickly becoming only one of many options for a legal career. Our session welcomes professionals who are involved in other areas of the legal profession to speak about their experiences and to explore the alternative career pathways one might take when considering their next step.
Breakout 3: A Seat at the Table: Best Practices in Board Opportunities for Women (Breakout)
The 30 % Club has set the global recommendations for organisations to achieve 30% in gender diversity at the Board and senior leadership levels. While some organisations have met that goal, others have a gap to fill. However, what is clear is that there is a universal push towards welcoming more women to board roles. With that in mind, how might women begin to work towards gaining a role on a board? What are the professional costs and benefits of joining a board? This session will welcome female board members whom will share their best practices and lessons learnt in obtaining a seat at the table.
Report Out - Workshops
Better Together: Law Firm Support of Client D&I Goals
The current climate has motivated most corporations into further action around supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives. Whether it be internal self-appointed mandates to revisit their own brands and promotional practices or external opportunities to help encourage equality in their communities, corporate clients are clearly determined to do more. Given the variety of arenas in which corporations have strong influence, what can their law firm counsel be doing to support their D&I goals? Our session brings together in-house counsel and law firms to discuss how client and counsel can better partner around motivating corporate goals for the better.
44 Grosvenor Square
Mayfair, London W1K 2HP
Please be advised, Thomson Reuters has not secured a room block for this programme. Interested parties may contact the hotel directly for available rates.