Equality, diversity & inclusion
“They make you feel they are part of your team, adding value.”
The nature of our work and client base call for diverse perspectives to deliver the best advice: we support trustees, employers and providers on an immense variety of work, right up to the knottiest, highest value and most technical matters in the industry. We believe passionately that our staff will be most successful when they bring their authentic selves to work.
Diversifying access to the profession
Research shows that socio-economic background affects progression to partner. 62% of our partners attended a state school – 15% more than the City firm average. However, we recognise that there is an underrepresentation of ethnic minority lawyers within our firm and more widely.
We seek to broaden access to the profession at all levels. Measures we take include:
- sponsorship of The Law Society’s Diversity Access scheme
- corporate membership of Black Lawyers Matter
- mentoring and work experience opportunities for students who have experienced barriers to entering the law
- sponsored apprenticeships in business services roles
- our fully paid Graduate Solicitor Apprentice programme
- participation in the Tower Hamlets Head to Head Interview Programme
- our partnership with educational charity Young Citizens through participation in their Experts in Law programme. Read about Emily’s experience of volunteering with Experts in Law here.
Gender and family positive
Our working environment allows women to progress. While the average across the industry is 33% female partners (dropping to 25% of equity partners), almost 60% of our partners and 65% of our fee earners are female.
We take active steps to maintain our positive approach to gender diversity and our family friendly culture, including a shared parental leave policy and access to mentoring and other resources to support our team.
We celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity among the Sackers team, and in the wider world. As one of the few openly gay firm heads in the legal sector, and one of the best known LGBTQ+ leaders in the pensions world, senior partner David Saunders is a role model in both.
We are members of inclusive organisations celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in our industry such as LGBT Great, and we mark Pride by inviting LGBTQ+ community members to speak to our team, promoting understanding and celebrating diversity throughout the population. Read David’s account of his personal journey to coming out here.
Mental health and wellbeing
Lawyers across the profession are increasingly speaking out about the pressure they face at work. Recognising this, we actively promote the mental health of all staff, and aim to ensure that work at Sackers is not another source of stress and anxiety. A range of proactive measures offering relevant services to our team help create a safety net in this critical area, and earlier this year four of our staff qualified as Mental Health First Aiders to provide additional support to staff. Naomi Brown, who is one our mental health first aiders, wrote this piece about the lack of awareness of mental health issues affecting those in the legal sector. You can also read about Amanda’s experience of managing her mental health here.
Given the technical intricacy of much of our work, we are at our best when we enjoy a genuinely healthy work-life balance. We are supportive of staff working flexibly, and a high proportion of Sackers lawyers take advantage of flexible working arrangements.
We support employees with disabilities/medical conditions and make appropriate adjustments to support them in their roles. We have signed up to the Disability Confident scheme to support us in recruiting and retaining the best people and to make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people.