Valuing the individual
Forsters recognises and appreciates that no two people are the same, and encouraging individuality is very much part of the firm's culture. Forsters is a very welcoming firm, and we are committed to providing an environment which allows everyone to develop and grow regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, maternity or pregnancy, race, religion or belief, and to ensuring that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee actively promotes diversity and inclusion across the firm, and we are currently launching seven employee networks covering Disability, Faith, Gender, LGBTQ+, Race, Social Mobility, and Working Parents and Carers. These networks will offer support, further raise awareness and are intended to shape the firm’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion.
Forsters is working hard to break down barriers to entering the legal profession, which have traditionally affected specific groups. We use the Rare Contextualised Recruitment Tool as part of our graduate recruitment process and we have partnered with Bright Network to diversify our graduate intake. We plan to expand this work over the next year and to continue to look for ways in which we can increase our diversity and inclusion at all levels throughout the firm.
We have launched an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) strategy, which sets out the firm’s diversity and inclusion commitments over the next two years. This includes training for all partners and staff, listening to staff through a firmwide ED&I survey, internal and external support programmes, and making more public diversity and inclusion commitments.
To date, our public commitments to diversity and inclusion include:
- Being a founding member of the LeGalBesT network
- Signing up to The Halo Code
- Joining the NOTICED inter-firm diversity network.
We aim to foster an environment which focuses on the talent and potential of each one of our people. Forsters is somewhere where every person is valued and individuals from all backgrounds can flourish and achieve their ambitions in a happy, collaborative and supportive environment.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion - Podcast
Senior Partner Smita Edwards, Graduate Recruitment Partner Emily Holdstock and Graduate Recruitment officer Emma Cooper join Miri Stickland to discuss why diversity and inclusion is so important to Forsters, the preconceptions that applicants may have about the firm and why they should look past them, our ED&I strategy and initiatives the Graduate Recruitment team are taking to promote diversity.
The Halo Code
Forsters champions the right of staff to embrace all Afro-hairstyles. We acknowledge that Afro-textured hair is an important part of our Black employees’ racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious identities, and requires specific styling for hair health and maintenance.
We celebrate Afro-textured hair worn in all styles including, but not limited to, afros, locs, twists, braids, cornrows, fades, hair straightened through the application of heat or chemicals, weaves, wigs, headscarves, and wraps.
At Forsters, we recognise and celebrate our colleagues’ identities. We are a community built on an ethos of equality and respect where hair texture and style have no bearing on an employee's ability to succeed.
Learn more about the Halo Collective.
Black History Month - October 2021
We are looking forward to celebrating Black History Month during October. Our theme for this year is heroes and, led by our Race Support Network, we have a range of events and initiatives planned through which we are really looking forward to learning more about heroes relating to UK history, food, fighting hair discrimination and more! We are particularly excited to be holding a Black History Month session with our Book Club, and hosting a celebration of African and Caribbean food, culture and history on our terrace.
We will be taking some significant steps in our diversity and inclusion work in the coming months, which we look forward to sharing, and we acknowledge that there is always more we can learn and do. This month we are excited to be celebrating and learning more about black history as a firm and individuals.