Equality & Diversity report 2015

The Society launched its Equality Standards in early 2015. The standards are an important part of the three-year Equality & Diversity Strategy. It’s hoped that law firms and organisations will strive to embed the standards within their processes and help the profession as a whole make further progress.

The Scottish Government included our equality standards as part of the tender for its legal services panel. We began working with organisations on how the standards can work for them and their clients and this work will continue. At the same time we launched our equal pay guidance and toolkit.

Three major pieces of research were published in the summer (i) a transgender experience case study (ii) perceptions and impacts of working patterns within the profession (iii) experience of established professionals within the legal profession.

We held a well-attended conference in April on Improving Gender Balance and, at part of the Society’s flagship conference, hosted a seminar on the gender pay gap. We published our own research on the gender pay gap in the summer and, in autumn, published a series of recommendations for improving judicial diversity. In partnership with the Equality & Human Rights Commission we hosted a pregnancy and maternity roundtable.  In early 2016, we will publish parental leave and return to work guidance and, later in the year, host an equality and diversity conference. The Society will also run a year-long ‘’campaign on pay’ in relation to gender pay.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report 2015

Throughout the year, 28 members of staff participated in a ‘CSR day’, spending time helping out a local charity or cause.

Our staff charity for the year was FreshStart, who help homeless people in Edinburgh return to housing. Through staff donations of crockery and household furnishings, we collected the equivalent of 25 ‘starter packs’ which are used to help people coming out of homelessness get started in their new home.

Staff also participated in ‘hit squads’ which visited three different people’s homes to help with painting and decoration.

We raised a total of £6793.79 in cash for FreshStart

As part of our office relocation we donated computer equipment we no longer needed to a charity that specialises in assisting children with learning difficulties.

In 2014/2015 we collected 1,570 bags of recyclable materials including paper, plastic, cans and food.

Healthy Working Lives report 2015

To continue to meet the criteria for ‘Gold’ status, the Healthy Working Lives group ran a number of events and campaigns to promote health and wellbeing among Society staff. These included a smoothie bar, tennis night, and a mental health awareness campaign.

We will continue to promote health and wellbeing in the work place, and the group is currently working on our new three-year plan which will align with the facilities at our new office.