‘We are committed to encouraging everyone to realise their full potential’
Global law firm Pinsett Masons is continually expanding its LGBT+ support networks
‘For Pride, we will bring colleagues together from our Dublin and Belfast offices, as well as further afield, to take part in Pride week activities in Dublin and Belfast.’
“We are a global firm and where a Pride event is taking place wherever we have offices we will encourage our LGBT+ and Allies network to get involved,” says Ciara Ruane, employment senior associate at Pinsent Masons. With more than 25 offices across five continents, the legal firm employs more than 3,000 people globally, and has offices in Dublin and Belfast.
“Pinsent Masons in Ireland is an active member of several LGBT organisations, including Working With Pride, Lawyers with Pride, Stonewall and Rainbow Project,” says Ruane. “For Pride, we will bring colleagues together from our Dublin and Belfast offices, as well as further afield, to take part in Pride week activities in Dublin and Belfast. This will include attending Pride week events, a Pride breakfast, walking in the parade, as well as a rainbow ‘dress-up’ day raising money for local LGBT charities.”
Since the company opened its Dublin office in 2017, it has expanded the LGBT+ support networks established through its offices in Belfast and throughout the UK. “We have developed an LGBT+ and Allies Network group which exists to serve the interests of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, but also those employees to whom this is a matter of interest,” says Ruane.
The LGBT+ and Allies Network is involved in developing internal policy, and also collaborates with LGBT+ business networks in the community. “This has worked particularly well in the UK through our engagement with Stonewall, which conducts a survey throughout our Great Britain and Northern Ireland offices. On the back of what we have been developing over a number of years, we moved from our number two ranking on the Stonewall Workplace Employment Index to top ranking employer in Great Britain and the very first top ranked employer in Northern Ireland. With the development of our Dublin office over the past two years, we have been strategically planning on developing these initiatives on an all-island basis.”
While Pride is about the celebration of diversity and inclusion, it is also a way to highlight how further change is necessary. “We measure our success and engagement with a staff survey each year. This helps us benchmark against our aims, but also against other businesses,” says Ruane. “We regularly hear evidence from interviews that our approach is a big draw for new talent to our firm. Are we ‘there’ yet? No, there is always more work that can be done.”
Recent developments in Pinsent Masons have included rolling out trans inclusion training. “This is helping to raise awareness and understanding of issues around gender identity and expression and create a forum where people can ask questions and learn how to create an inclusive workplace,” says Ruane.
“Pinsent Masons is fundamentally a ‘people’ business and we have always worked hard to develop and sustain an inclusive culture for all our people and a diverse workforce that is fully representative of all of the communities in which we live and work. We are committed to encouraging everyone to realise their full potential.”