Last week, we wrote to extend our support to black colleagues who have been affected by recent events. It is important that we publicly acknowledge both the direct racism, and unconscious biases, that persist around our world.
Black Lives Matter - we need to stand up for change - with our clients, and in our communities, and strive towards a truly equal society with opportunities for all irrespective of the colour of their skin.
As we have all watched tragic events unfold in the US, we must not forget racial injustice has a long history in the UK too. Inequalities persist in systems, and in organisations. We need to play our part to break down those inequalities and push for structural change.
To make this meaningful at Shoosmiths, we know that making one, or a few, statements online is not enough. We need to work hard offline, by challenging thinking, and understanding what we can do to contribute to real and permanent change. To build on the work we are already doing, below are just a few examples of what Shoosmiths will do next:
- Continue our work to attract diverse candidates to the firm and look at how we can encourage more applicants from BAME backgrounds.
- Actively engage with our employees to better understand their experiences of racial inequality, and how colleagues can be better allies.
- Regularly review internal policies and procedures for unconscious biases.
- When we talk about mental health and wellbeing, recognise that there is no one size fits all approach; develop and share resources which reflect diverse cultures and experiences.
- Consider pro-bono opportunities with organisations working towards racial equality.
We are ready to listen, and we are ready to continue to learn and develop.
Most importantly, we are ready to do more.
Simon Boss, Chief Executive
Peter Duff, Chairman