Culture, diversity and CSR

Culture, diversity and CSR

At Osborne Clarke, Diversity & Inclusion, CSR and ESG go right to the heart of our culture and who we are as a firm.

Because taking care of our people, our communities and the world at large is not only simply the right thing to do, it’s fundamental to all our futures. For the success of the firm, the well-being of our employees and the impact we have on the planet.

D&I: creating inspiring and inclusive spaces

Diversity is one of the most highly prized attributes of Osborne Clarke.

But knowing that a diverse workplace doesn’t necessarily mean an inclusive one, we’re committed to uncovering our blind spots and making sure everyone enjoys the same opportunities regardless of who they are, who they love or where they come from.

Through our internal networks and alongside our partnerships with external organisations such as Stonewall and Rare we aim to highlight and address inequalities and ensure Osborne Clarke is a workplace that works for everybody.

Using the RARE contextual recruitment tool has meant that approximately 12% of training contracts in 2020 were given to students who may not have been invited to interview were it not for the tool.
Get involved with our networks
OC REACH

OC REACH (Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) aims to increase ethnic minority representation in the firm from recruitment to senior level, while growing awareness of the different cultures already present. We have an Executive Champion for Race who was appointed to help speed up the pace of change, and we have put together a statement on race which lists the actions we are taking.

In 2021 the network has been piloting a reverse mentoring programme for 24 leaders to increase their awareness of race and cultural issues.
OC Pride

Our LGBT+ network supports every member of the LGBT community, working on raising awareness through events and knowledge sessions, partnering with external organisations such as Stonewall, where we were a signatory on the Trans Rights are Human Rights campaign, and ensuring that supportive policies are put into place at firm level.

For IDAHOBIT (The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) 2021, we took OC Pride international and sought messages of support for the LGBT+ community from around our OC International businesses. Some of the messages are in local languages so remember to put on your subtitles for the English translation.
OC Gender

This network hosts various events and initiatives. From mentoring, to sponsoring a female only GC roundtable and a female ‘rising star’ networking event. It’s currently working to make recommendations to improve female progression in one of our practice groups. Our most recent Gender Pay Gap report provides more insight into our progress and plans.

A year-long Senior Associate development programme for women, that includes individual coaching and workshops has already led to 50% of the 2017 cohort and 21% from the 2018 cohort being promoted.
OC Age

Our OC Age network aims to address changing workplace demographics and shine a light on age inclusivity. We want to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that come with a widening of what is considered ‘working age’ and ensure our people enjoy the right support at all stages of their working lives.

OC Mind and Body
Through our Mind and Body Network, we've been providing wellbeing events and activities for a number of years.

From free fruit, health checks and a flu vaccination programme, to free fitness sessions - our new Bristol office will even have in-house yoga and spin studios. We also have a network of around 100 mental health champions who are trained to spot any difficulties early on.

We’re also committed to ensuring our office, technology and recruitment processes remain as accessible as possible, making reasonable changes to accommodate differing needs – whether that’s physical disabilities, or in relation to neuro-diversities such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism. If you require any adjustments to participate in our recruitment process, let us know and we’ll do all we can to support you.

We have a network of around 100 mental health champions who are trained to spot any difficulties early on.
OC Social Diversity

One of the key differentiators of our firm is the complete diversity of perspectives we bring together – only made possible by ensuring we hire people from a range of backgrounds. Our Social Diversity network supports and celebrates the social diversity within the firm while offering support to young people through our external outreach programmes with the Social Mobility Business Partnership and STRIVE.

We have taken on 22 apprentices since 2015, 18% of whom were BAME and 68% female.
OC for Good: shaping the future of our firm
The OC networks are part of a broader set of aims and activities which are captured in three pillars, under our over-arching OC for Good initiative.

Being a Good Employer is the first pillar, encompassing – among other things – our D&I objectives. Being a Good Corporate Citizen the second, while the third focuses on doing Good Business. Within each of these areas there are countless initiatives and projects with fantastic opportunities for you to get involved with the issues lying closest to your heart. Have other ideas about what we could be doing? We’ll want to hear them. Because within this rapidly evolving space there’s always going to be ways to do things better.

Good Corporate Citizen
We take our responsibilities to society seriously and try to make a difference across four areas of impact: education, environment, equality and poverty.

The dedication and passion of our volunteers has had real and measurable impact across our wider community, as well as within the firm, and we’re incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved.

Get involved:
Pro-bono: creating equal access to justice
Providing everyone with equal access to justice plays an important role in the building and growth of societies, allowing people to better understand and use the law and legal services in the protection of their rights. Obviously as a law firm we’re ideally placed to offer greater access to justice through pro-bono advice and support, and as an Osborne Clarke employee you can volunteer with organisations such as Z2K and the Bristol Law Centre.
case study
Osborne Clarke's pro bono volunteers advise Z2K client in successful DWP appeal
Learn more
Environment: supporting a sustainable future
Climate change is here, and no other single factor will determine the future of our world more than this. It’s why we’ve made Decarbonisation one of the pillars of our client offering. But recognising that responsibility starts at home, as a firm we’re committed to doing whatever we can to operate more sustainably. Active over the last 15 years, OC’s colleague-led Sustainable Business Group has been instrumental in identifying and implementing changes to how we operate that reduce the firm’s carbon footprint, conserve our use of natural resources and encourage sustainable behaviour and business practices. We’re currently developing our Low Carbon Strategy, which will launch in 2022.
Education: a powerful route to empowerment
Education offers those who may be economically and socially marginalized the opportunity to rise above their individual circumstances and participate fully within society. With this in mind, we support a wide range of educational organisations with whom you can volunteer your time, including our flagship program ‘The Bridge’ with a local school which aims to provide career inspiration and employability skills to support the next generation.
Good Business

Ethical procurement, fair supplier management, an open dialogue with our stakeholders and good governance. These are all part of what we are. We work to make sure that we do business in a fair and sustainable way.

Feeling inspired?
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