Shepherd & Wedderburn has appointed partner Yvonne Brady to the additional position of head of Diversity, Development & Inclusion.
Ms Brady, who will continue to lead the firm’s restructuring and business advisory practice, will be responsible for all of the Scottish-headquartered firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, and maximising their impact for the benefit of colleagues and clients. This includes overseeing the firm’s S+W Together focus groups: Gender; Race, Faith & Beliefs; LGBTIA; Healthy Working Lives; and Social Mobility.
Over the past year, Shepherd & Wedderburn has achieved Living Wage Scotland accreditation, made the top 25 UK employers as ranked by Stonewall and the InterLaw Diversity Forum in their inaugural list for LGBTIA staff, received "Gold" accreditations from Investors in Young People, Investors in People and for its Healthy Working Lives programme, and expanded its PRIME programme, which offers work experience to young people from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds with a view to encouraging them to enter the legal profession.
It has also conducted a major values exercise, and an independent diversity and inclusion survey of staff, implemented an agile and flexible working programme, expanded its in-house mentoring scheme and introduced a reverse mentoring programme to allow its focus groups to mentor members of its executive team, and retained its Disability Confident Employer badge. The firm guarantees an interview to any disabled applicant who meets the minimum criteria for any vacancy.
Ms Brady commented: "We are working hard to achieve a fully diverse and inclusive business and my appointment affirms our commitment to that goal. I am excited about our future and the many initiatives already underway to ensure our business provides the best working environment, so that colleagues and clients alike have the most positive experience possible of working with us."
Managing partner Andrew Blain added: "I am confident that Yvonne will bring energy and enthusiasm to driving forward the many initiatives that underpin this pledge.
"We recognise that we, like most other businesses, have a long way to go but that recognition is the essential first step on the journey. We will be building on the modest improvement we have made in narrowing the gender pay gap and striving to ensure all colleagues in the business feel equally valued, see a clear path to career progression and enjoy being part of Shepherd & Wedderburn, working together with a common sense of purpose."