Government Legal Department aims for diversity at the top

updated on 22 November 2021

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The Government Legal Department (GLD) has announced in its Business Plan that it wants over 25% of senior employees to be from ethnic minority backgrounds, by 31 March 2022.

The GLD’s Business Plan for 2020-21 outlines its key priorities, one of which is tackling issues around how it manages, rewards, develops and promotes its employees fairly, particularly “ethnic minority and disabled colleagues; taking steps to develop inclusive leadership and the skills and behaviours to build effective working relationships.”

The GLD is a legal organisation that is committed to providing a “safe, supportive workplace that ensures that everyone feels valued and included, where everyone’s talent and contribution is recognised and in which everyone can thrive and fulfil their potential.”

It also plans to “increase the scale, effectiveness and diversity” of its recruitment by improving its “attraction and branding, and implementing a new capability driven pay framework.”

Deputy director Simon Regis said that within the GLD’s organisation: “26.8% of GLD colleagues have declared themselves to be from an ethnic minority background. The organisation is looking to properly reflect that at higher and senior levels in the organisation.”

According to Regis, the department wants to introduce a mandatory ethnic minority and disabled representative on its hiring panels. So far, the department has helped 164 ethnic minority and/or disabled colleagues in its first year.

The GLD and Bar Council are also involved in the 10,000 Black Interns programme; a scheme designed to improve the opportunities available to young Black people in the UK by offering paid work experience across a wide range of sectors.

Meanwhile, the Bar Council’s Race Working Group recently launched a new report to address inequality at the Bar. The annual report provides statistics and personal testimony to highlight the prejudice that is rife within the legal profession.