Our Diversity Steering Group is involved in many projects connected to our Diversity Strategy. The formation of a Senior led Diversity Steering Group and network of Diversity Champions provides strong and visible leadership to support the implementation of the firm’s strategic diversity objectives and in doing so, embed diversity into the way we do business. Here, some of the senior members of our group tell us why being part of our diversity work is so important to them.

Seema Bains

Partner
Insurance Casualty & Head of Diversity Steering Group

Seema Bains

    "Diversity is about working together proactively to make our business more successful by encouraging a diverse blend of people in terms of their backgrounds, attitudes, gender, age etc. It goes beyond complying with the law or just doing the right thing; it is about getting ahead of the competition because we are able to utilise the diversity of our people’s knowledge and experience to enhance our insight into our clients and the service we deliver. It is about positively shaping the employment experience and career paths of every one of us, by ensuring that we are each valued for our unique contribution, regardless of our diversity characteristics." 
       

Neil Jinks

FICM Director
Litigation, Recoveries

Neil_Jinks

    "Being a member of DWF’s Diversity Steering Group is important to me because I have been treated differently and unfairly because of my diversity in the past. I would like to contribute to making life easier for people in a similar position in the future. I hope I can become a positive role model to show that you can be successful even if you are different. I feel everyone should be treated fairly and equally regardless of any differences. We are all entitled to work in a safe environment and to feel free to express our true identities without any fear or threat or affect upon our careers. I am keen to help eliminate discrimination and to replace it with a celebration of our diversity; to promote a culture of support, education and understanding both internally and externally."
       

Helen Corner

Partner
Corporate & Banking, Banking & Asset Finance

Helen Corner

     

"I truly believe that everyone should have the best possible opportunities to reach their full potential. An important part of this is working in an organisation where you are supported in developing your talents and maximising your contribution, regardless of your background, race etc.

I am particularly interested in social mobility and gender issues. I am keen to do whatever I can to progress our diversity strategy through my everyday work and my membership of DSG."

       

Sara-Jane Eaton

Partner and Head of European Group

Sara-Jane_Eaton

    "I am very keen to support the issues of diversity and integration as this is the key to securing a talented, well-balanced, happy and thereby committed work-force.

The issues of gender and flexible working are very close to my heart as a mother of three who has seen a positive change over the years in support of women who wish to feel secure, happy and positively challenged in the work-force without compromising their family life."
       

Alan Owens

Partners and Head of Technology & Communications

Alan Owens

     

"Coming at this as a litigator, the case for equality, diversity and inclusion is all but unanswerable, yet the need for it to be advocated remains as urgent as ever. The legal case insists that principles of equality are the norm within our society and our workplace – yet discrimination still persists. The intellectual case demands that we engage, consult and explore every approach to our work - yet many voices remain silent.

The moral and ethical case, that we are committed to justice and the equal worth of individuals, is almost universally accepted – yet we are riven by bias. The business case urges us to draw from the best talent available and make ourselves relevant to the widest possible customer base – yet inaction prevails over change.

We, surely all of us at DWF, want to do the right thing. I want to contribute to a DSG that will help us all achieve it.”
       

Kate Hasluck

Emerging Talent Manager (Development)

Kate_Hasluck

    "I embrace diversity and will continue to promote the benefits of recruiting and developing a diverse and talented work force. We can’t grow into a top 20 firm if everyone we recruit thinks and behaves in the same way. Having a diverse workforce helps promote innovation and encourages our employees to ‘disrupt to progress’. Embedding diversity throughout the firm means that talent can be properly recognised and supported – wherever and whoever it may be."
       

David Walton

Partner Real Estate

David_Walton

    “I believe strongly that we flourish best as people both in and out of work when we are fully able to be ourselves. We will contribute most effectively to the business if we feel valued for who we are - without being judged by our gender or age or racial or sexual identity. In the early part of my career I felt it impossible to be open about my sexuality for fear of judgment or disadvantage. I am delighted that so much has changed but there is still work to be done  to ensure that everyone feels able to be themselves and that they have an equal chance within the firm. That is why I am committed to work to enhance  the natural acceptance of our diversity within DWF - so that ultimately the Diversity Steering Group is put out of business!”
       

Julie Simms

Partner Real Estate

Julie_Simms

     

"Statistics suggest opportunities available to young lawyers are not identical and there are inequalities within this profession based on (amongst others) gender, race, class and sexual orientation. The DSG will enable DWF to clearly demonstrate its commitment to attracting and retaining well qualified, diverse professionals and being a member of the group enables me to support the objectives to create an even more diverse and inclusive workplace. The group wants to ensure that equality and diversity play a fundamental part in all that we do as a business and delivery of this is not down to what we say but most importantly what we do and clear leadership and support from the top of the business – which we have."

       

Catherine Haslam

Partner Real Estate, Telecoms & Energy

Catherine_Haslam

    "Being part of the Diversity Steering Group is important to me because it is about including and supporting everybody no matter what their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or specific personal circumstances. We live in a diverse society, which is all the more beautiful for it, and our working environment needs to reflect that. It is important for our staff to feel valued, to know that they have an important part to play in the life of the firm, and to understand that difference does not prejudice that in any way. It is important for me personally to be involved in promoting that and to be part of ensuring that the firm delivers what it says in respect of diversity."