Mishcon de Reya is a leading independent law firm. They believe everyone brings their unique perspectives and experience to any advice, transaction, or dispute.
Championing diversity and inclusion is part of the firm's core values and its Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy outlines its targets and commitments. As part of driving the change set out in this strategy, the firm has a number of active employee network groups.
One of these is their social mobility network. We sat down to interview Bethia Green, a member of this network, to understand more about the work they do. Read on to find out more about Bethia's work and passion for championing change.
Please introduce yourself!
I'm Bethia, a trainee solicitor at Mishcon. I'm currently working in the Private department and my previous two seats have been in Property Litigation and Commercial Intellectual Property. Prior to my training contract, I read law at UCL. Outside of work I love sports and live music so can usually be found with my head in a book on my way to a match or gig.
Which Diversity, Equity, Inlcusion and Belonging (DEIB) network(s) are you a part of at Mishcon?
I am part of the social mobility network, specifically our working with young people and attraction sub-groups. Additionally, I am part of our recently established race equity network, Mishcon M:BRACE, and our LGBTQIA+ Pride committee.
What work does your network do to encourage Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging?
Given the number of networks I belong to, I could write an essay answering this question alone. One of the biggest projects I am involved with is the Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, with which we ran virtual and in-person work experience programmes with this year.
There is a big emphasis on getting involved at the firm. I have been part of numerous projects aimed both internally and externally at making the firm a better place to work. From participating in mentoring schemes, to speaking at Q&As, the social mobility network really facilitates hands-on involvement in various diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEIB) initiatives. There's something for everyone, regardless of how much time you can contribute.
Another great aspect is how enthusiastic senior staff are about us getting involved in DEIB initiatives. Partners are understanding of such commitments and generally extremely supportive of any additional projects I want to get involved with.
Why do you think it is important to have networks like these in the workplace?
Personally, these networks have massively helped me develop a network of driven, forward-thinking professionals who are passionate about diversity and inclusion. More broadly, they foster a culture of recognition and acceptance within a workplace. This has made me feel comfortable existing in my workplace as a minority. I also believe this creates positive workplace environments that attract diverse talent into the business. Other employees become increasingly aware of different cultures, identities, and experiences, which can help people become more educated and considerate both within Mishcon de Reya and beyond.
How can these networks be useful for graduates joining Mishcon de Reya?
DEIB networks provide a great way to connect with colleagues across the firm as well as clients. They also offer a fantastic opportunity to take responsibility for projects and develop your non-legal but transferable skills like event planning, negotiation, and budgeting.
Do you have any advice to graduates joining from the group your network represents?
Jump in two-footed! The networks are incredibly friendly, welcoming places and we always want the involvement of new personalities who are keen to make a difference. Our doors are always open so don't hesitate to send an email and learn more about the different opportunities that are available – or bring your own idea to the table!
What progress would you like to see made by your network in the future? / What are the long-term goals of your network?
I would love to see the makeup of our board and partnership reflect society more broadly. Working with organisations like the 93% Club, named after the proportion of UK individuals who are state educated, makes me think about how different so many law firms would look if they were truly representative of society. It is imperative that businesses continue to hold themselves to account if they want to ensure that they are on track to be truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable. I hope to continue to see firms champion and prioritise the importance of DEIB.
To learn more about Mishcon de Reya, take a look here.