Tom, Trainee Solicitor at Pinsent Masons’ Leeds office, talks to us about the firm's truly inclusive culture and his own role in the firm’s LGBT network.
Why did you choose to work for Pinsent Masons?
The firm's culture and market leading work. The firm's values and culture really set Pinsent Masons apart. Pinsent Masons' innovative and forward thinking approach runs to the heart of everything the firm does.
How would you describe the Pinsent Masons company culture?
We are approachable, bold and connected. Pinsent Masons recognises the importance of its culture and the value in maintaining a diverse, inclusive and happy place for people to work.
How important to you is diversity and inclusion?
It's essential, but not as a standalone project. A truly diverse and inclusive environment is one where these values are a part of the firm's strategy and approach. This is one of the reasons why Pinsent Masons is leading in this space. Bringing your whole self to work makes you more productive and a better lawyer. You’re going to be happier and more invested in the firm if you are working in an inclusive environment and this brings benefits for you and the firm.
Could you tell me a bit more about the LGBT network at Pinsent Masons and your role within it?
The LGBT and allies networks are firm wide and there are representatives in each of our offices. Events are organised both locally and in collaboration across the firm's global network. All new employees receive a formal induction which includes information about our diversity and inclusion agenda.
Our senior LGBT Champion emails all new starters to confirm our commitment to LGBT equality and our Head of Responsible Business contacts them to advertise our employee network groups and to explain our allies initiative. However this is just one aspect of diversity and inclusion at Pinsent Masons. In addition to regular network conference calls, our London office recently hosted our global LGBT and allies conference. This was an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on our vision and strategy and build on links across different parts of the business.
Our 2017 conference led to a flurry of activity across our offices. I was in Manchester last week for one of their networking events and I am currently planning a gin tasting evening in our Leeds office. People from all parts of our business work together to organise networking events, deepen client relationships and support our responsible business work. It really is a 360 degree approach.
What would you say are the core aims of the LGBT network?
To promote and develop a diverse and inclusive working environment across the firm in which everyone feels confident to bring their whole self to work and achieve their potential.
Our LGBT and allies networks work with other initiatives such as our family group to create visible role models, provide opportunities to meet new people and strengthen their support network. Operating on a global scale means that employees are encouraged to collaborate with different offices from Leeds to Munich to Australia. We also link in with our clients' LGBT networks – another example of how our LGBT and allies groups inform our approach to business.
You mentioned the allies network, could you tell me a bit more about this?
This dovetails with the LGBT network at Pinsent Masons. Our allies act as visible ambassadors for our commitment to LGBT inclusion across the firm. They are given rainbow mugs to demonstrate their support and a list of allies is accessible to all staff on our intranet. Members of our allies network, including our Senior Partner, HR Director, Board members and Head of Responsible Business, also get involved in the LGBT network's events.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in applying to Pinsent Masons?
Don't take my word for it – apply for one of our work experience or summer vacation schemes. Spending some time in one or more of our offices will give you an insight into our values and culture. This experience will be invaluable in helping you decide where you would like to pursue your career.
What are your hopes for the LGBT network and its role in the future?
Our success lies in being bold and innovative so I hope to help maintain the LGBT and allies roles in informing who we are and what we do. I see our role as striving to maintain and develop a diverse and inclusive culture, leading the way in the space and encouraging other organisations to do the same.
I hope that our LGBT and allies networks continue to be championed by senior members of the firm to continue our market leading work in this space.
The LGBT and Allies networks feed into the firm’s values and approach.
Learn more about Pinsent Masons and their opportunities right here.