We are delighted to be recognised as a Times Top 50 Employer for Gender Equality for a third consecutive year. This has been a collective effort with all of our people contributing to how we progress gender balance in our firm and positively influencing our local communities. Here are three examples of the work we have undertaken to create a more gender equal workplace:
1 Supporting the transition to becoming a working parent
A significant transition in people's lives occurs if and when they become a parent. Having a positive experience of parental leave and being supported to re-engineer work life to integrate with family life is critical. Our People Team and gender balanced network BBalanced have collaborated to increase the visibility of our different parental leave options through learning sessions and case studies. All parents taking an extended period of parental leave are offered transition coaching before, during and after their leave. This supports parents in understanding how their priorities have shifted and how the firm can best support them to reintegrate back into the workforce. It also helps them make adjustments to balance work and family life.
In 2022 coaching delivered a 31% increase in parents feeling equipped to manage their ongoing career as they balance work. Take up of this service with mothers has always been high but interestingly of the 16 fathers it was offered to, 56% had at least one session of coaching.
2 Testing our leadership pipeline
Addressing partnership gender imbalance is a strategic focus for us. Our Leadership team actively monitors the partnership pipeline through a gender lens and our legal departments continue to demystify the role of a Partner to empower our people to progress to partnership should they wish to. Ensuring lawyers feel that a partnership role is accessible and manageable alongside domestic and family priorities is important for us, to improve gender diversity in our leadership roles.
Since 2018 we have seen a 5% increase in female representation in our partnership. We have a target to get to 33% representation by 2026.
3 Strengthening male mental fitness with Talk Club
Mental ill health is one of the biggest dangers for men under the age of 50. We wanted to change the conversation, to better equip people with the tools to keep themselves healthy. Talk Club is a charity that provides communities for men to talk. Meeting in pubs, parks, football clubs and online, each Talk Club encourages conversation and support following an opening question, “How are you? Out of 10?". We developed a partnership with Talk Club to help us open the conversation about mental fitness and to help support the charities its critical work. Male members of our gender balance network BBalanced kicked off the initiative by hosting a lunch & learn session which was attended by hundreds of people, to hear from Talk Club about its approach to encourage people to open about their experiences of mental health.
“Honestly, we love our partnership with Burges Salmon. They get us. They understand the need for prevention of mental ill health, and don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. We get approached by some corporates, and you can tell we are only there to tick a box. Burges Salmon isn’t like that. You can see they believe they can be part of the solution. And we’re really proud to be on that journey with them.” Co-Founder/Co-CEO Ben Akers
In 2022 coaching delivered a 31% increase in parents feeling equipped to manage their ongoing career as they balance work