We are an equal opportunity employer committed to enhancing diversity within the workplace.
We recognize and value the benefits that a diverse workforce can bring to the organization. Diversity is not limited to gender and ethnicity, and includes factors such as religion or belief, disability, age, marital status and sexual orientation. All our employees and Partners are responsible for the promotion and advancement of equality and diversity within the Firm.
Much of our work on diversity in the last three years has been about putting good monitoring tools in place to ensure that we understand where the gaps are within our workforce, making changes to our strategies and communicating our policy on equal opportunities and diversity to our staff and training those involved in managing and recruiting others.
Since 2002, Withers has experienced a period of growth. The expansion of our client base has highlighted our clients' need for a highly skilled and diverse workforce. The business need to support diversity is evident and Chris Priestley (a Partner in our Commercial group) has been nominated to ensure that Diversity is high on the partnership agenda.
In 2006 we undertook our first diversity audit of our workforce, monitoring age, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity and disability. New joiners are monitored on an ongoing basis. Our diversity statistics are published below.
Communication of our commitment to Diversity
Each year our staff are asked to acknowledge their understanding of and commitment to the Firm’s Equal Opportunities Policy as part of our annual audit.
Our Supervisors and Partners receive training to ensure they understand their obligations in implementing our equal opportunity policy in the workplace.
In addition, all interview panelists are trained in the Firm’s approach to diversity and given guidance on our structured skill based approach to interviewing.
Promotion and Access to Development
Opportunities for promotion are communicated and made available to all staff on a fair and equal basis. A skills framework is used in all promotion, appraisal, and pay discussions to ensure a consistent and fair approach across the Firm.
Selection of candiates for promotion to 'Of Counsel or Partner' status is undertaken by a panel of Withers Partners, whose selection decisions are based upon technical expertise and pre-defined partner competencies.
Training is made available to all staff and Partners in line with our business needs. Training needs are recognized formally via our appraisal process, which is objective and skill based, to ensure a fair and equal approach.
Recognition for Diversity
Withers was ranked 2nd (out of the top 100 law firms) for having a high percentage of female equity partners in The Lawyer Career Report Survey 2006.
Withers also ranked 2nd (out of the top 50 firms) for Diversity with respect to women and ranked 1st for Diversity with respect for Gay and Lesbians in the Vault survey 2006.