Equity, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our values - people first, doing the right thing and forward thinking. ‘People first’ in particular encourages us to treat each other with decency, respect, fairness and inclusion. We’re committed to increasing the diversity of our firm and ensuring everyone feels included, regardless of their education, background, culture, ethnicity, race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, neurodiversity, religion and beliefs, because for us, it is simply the right thing to do.
In October 2021 we launched our five-year Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy and plan 2021-2025, which sets out not just how we will ensure a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, but why. Above all, it gives us an ongoing platform for progress and accountability. Accountability is particularly important to delivering change and that’s why in December 2021 we set up our EDI Council – a group of senior representatives from all areas of the firm, and tasked with holding the firm to account and enabling the key initiatives in our EDI strategy and plan.
We have also launched three Employee Network Groups designed to create a safe space for colleagues to connect, share personal stories and importantly, feel heard. CREATE (Culture, Race, Ethnicity, Allies, Traditions and Equity) is our race and ethnicity network, Prism is our LGBT+ network and Shine is our network for mental health, wellbeing, disability (including fluctuating and hidden disabilities) and medical conditions. Anyone is welcome to join our Employee Network Groups including allies.
Below is a summary of what we’ve done to date on our EDI work, but please do take a look at our full EDI strategy and plan 2021 to 2025. It explains in detail everything we’ll be doing between now and 2025 to make Capsticks a truly diverse and inclusive business - for the benefit of all our clients and everyone who works for us.
Wellbeing and mental health
We care deeply about the wellbeing and mental health of our people. Our Managing Partner and Senior Partner lead by example by championing the importance of regular meetings between team members and their leaders to discuss wellbeing, work life balance, and working hard to create a culture in which it is safe to be open when we’re finding things difficult and might need a bit of extra support.
We also take meaningful action to ensure that our people are provided with confidential access to mental health experts, advice and services whenever they need them. We have a team of 20+ trained Mental Health First Aiders across all offices, levels and roles. We also offer regular Mental Health Skills for Managers training, making it easier for our leaders to promote and normalise mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Race and ethnicity
As a firm, we recognise we need to do more to tackle race inequality and to tackle the systemic barriers facing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people at work and in the wider community. One of our values is “doing the right thing”, which is about taking action; challenging when things are unfair or discriminatory, calling out inappropriate behaviour, and taking anti-racist action at work.
To continue to raise awareness of, and address race inequality, we will be rolling out Anti-Racism and Race Fluency training to everyone in the firm. We have also set ourselves targets to improve representation of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic people at wider partnership (15%) and equity partnership level (10%) by 2025.
We’re also in the process of establishing a talent development programme and reciprocal mentoring programme for our Black Asian and Ethnic Minority lawyers and Business Services professionals within Capsticks to support their career progression.
While much progress has been made (both legal and social) when it comes to women’s equality, we know that women continue to face barriers to progression. That’s why gender is still very much a priority for Capsticks.
We want to reduce our gender pay gap and increase representation of women at partnership, with targets being set at 50% for wider partnership and 30% for equity partnership by 2025. We’re also committed to raising awareness of gender inequality and to providing support to women during all stages of their careers with us, including through policies and events supporting pregnancy, fertility and menopause.
We’re in the process of establishing a talent development programme for women to support their career progression and improve representation of women at partnership level, we have signed up to the Menopause Workplace Pledge and are in the process of doing the same with The Law Society’s Women in Law Pledge.
Although we see greater understanding and acceptance of LGBT+ people and their many identities, there is work to do to ensure everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation and / or gender identity, feels able to be themselves at work. And there is more we can do, individually and as a firm, to educate ourselves about LGBT+ identities and issues in the workplace. We have an active LGBT+ network group, Prism, and are Stonewall Diversity Champions.
To promote greater LGBT+ inclusion and visibility at the firm, we’ve developed a transitioning at work policy which includes line manager guidance, and introduced a revised and more relaxed dress code policy, which explicitly states that people can dress in a way which is in line with their gender identity.
We are committed to providing equal opportunities for all and therefore we will make reasonable adjustments to our application and interview process to ensure that you have the best chance of success. We understand that there's not a "one size fits all" approach to adjustments so our team will work with you individually to understand more about your requirements.
Once you work with us, we have a number of initiatives in place to help promote greater disability inclusion and visibility including various talks and events, EDI training and our Wellbeing Employee Networking Group, Shine (welcoming any colleague with a disability, including invisible and fluctuating disabilities).
With our Managing Partner and Senior Partner both being the first in their respective families to go to University, helping to improve social mobility is hugely important to Capsticks. We believe that everyone, irrespective of their background, should be able to achieve their full potential. As a firm we’re committed to increasing access to the legal sector for people from less advantaged backgrounds and communities, and we’ve been working to help those inside and outside the firm.
We have a paralegal and solicitor apprenticeship scheme, providing an alternative route into the legal profession that involves working and studying concurrently. This is aimed at widening access to the legal sector and removing the financial barriers of higher education.