Employee Network case studies
The DIVERSE Network hosts inspirational, educational, cultural and social events throughout the year which are open to all.
We organise a variety of events, ranging from guest presentations and networking drinks, to arts events, with a focus on racial, social and ethnic diversity and related topics of interest.
For Black History Month 2019, DIVERSE Network and the Slaughter and May’s Book Club co-hosted an event to discuss "Becoming", the powerful and stimulating memoir of the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
We were also proud to welcome a packed auditorium for our Black History Month celebration event for a Q&A between Nigel Boardman and Eni Aluko. Eni returned to home turf (yes, she was a corporate lawyer at Slaughter and May!) to talk about her experiences in the world of law, sport and now literature – having just released her new book “They Don't Teach This”.
Diversity in the City discussion series
Facilitating an open dialogue across the City to enhance BAME inclusion in business, the launch event brought together a wide range of BAME professionals from different sectors to discuss challenges faced and opportunities to galvanise change within our respective organisations. The second event enabled us to draw out a key theme from the launch, with a focused session led by award-winning brand expert Kubi Springer, looking at harnessing diversity for individual and business success.
Best Friends LGBT Initiative
In June 2016, Slaughter and May hosted the inaugural meeting of the Best Friends LGBT Initiative, which brought together LGBT staff and allies from some of our Best Friend firms to share best practice and consider how the attendees, as individuals and as part of their firms’ networks, can develop LGBT inclusion in their respective firms.
The event included roundtable discussions and a session on LGBT role models and allies, led by Stonewall. This was followed by dinner and drinks on our terrace to facilitate further discussion and networking between the PRISM network and our Best Friends.
Since then, there have been further meetings in Paris (2017), Berlin (2018) and Madrid (2019), and regular catch-up calls and informal discussions to discuss progress and share ideas for further development.
Slaughter and May is one of the organisers of, and participates in, the DiversCity initiative, which is an unique annual recruitment event and mentoring programme aimed at raising awareness of pursuing a legal career in the City amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) students at degree and postgraduate level.
Each year, members of PRISM participate in the DiversCity event or act as mentors to LGBT+ students. Mentors meet with their mentees regularly over the course of the year, answering questions about life in a City law firm, the applications process, and the experience of being LGBT+ in the City.
If you would like more information on this event and how to apply, see the DiversCity Website.
The PRISM network aims to support members of our LGBT+ community in being their authentic selves. We collaborate with our other internal networks to host events such as our recent talk with Matthew Todd, author of Straight Jacket, which we co-hosted with Thrive, our mental health and wellbeing network.
We meet regularly to discuss ongoing initiatives and invite everyone across the firm to our evening events at various locations in the City. We also foster links with the firm’s clients and prospective clients and their LGBT+ networks. We work closely with colleagues at our Best Friend firms, and are also involved in graduate recruitment and student mentoring initiatives such as DiversCity.
PRISM has helped the firm ascend the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index and our people have appeared in the OUTstanding LGBT Executives, Future Leaders and Ally Leaders lists. We are committed to making further progress as a diverse and inclusive workplace.
PRISM also participates in the Interlaw Diversity Forum, the inter-organisational LGBT network for the legal sector, including hosting and attending monthly meetings. We hosted the Interlaw Anniversary Party numerous times, raising funds for a number of LGBT+ charities, including Stonewall and The Albert Kennedy Trust.
We recognise that mental health issues affect everyone to varying extents throughout their lives. In May 2018, we launched our employee run mental health and wellbeing network, Thrive. Together, we aim to:
- Destigmatise mental illness;
- Raise awareness about, and create a culture of openness around mental health issues;
- Promote all round wellbeing, both in the workplace, and in our personal lives;
- Develop a robust system of support and resources for employees who are experiencing mental health or wellbeing issues, or who simply wish to learn more about how they can support themselves and others around them.
Thrive was launched with a panel discussion during which a number of partners and employees shared personal stories about mental ill-health, or their experiences supporting others. The event had a record breaking attendance.
Our network is for everyone. Thrive addresses a range of issues, from suicide awareness to managing stress. The network has already had a profound impact in our workplace and we look forward to growing our network and building on the support system in place.
We are pleased to announce our partnership with Unmind, a scientifically-backed mental health and wellbeing platform. As a firm, we’re making continued efforts to destigmatise mental health and develop a robust system of support and resources for our people. Partnering with Unmind and its platform is just one way we are doing this.