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I was recently invited to speak and take part in Leeds Beckett University’s Law Enrichment session which allowed a panel of ethnically diverse professionals to speak to students about our experiences with diversity and inclusion within the legal sector. The panel was made up of professionals from different backgrounds and professions. This included trainee solicitors, solicitors and global managers from HSBC.
The main focus of the talk was to encourage students to embrace their background and view their diversity in a positive light (i.e religion, social economic background) and to reassure them that there are workforces that are encouraging diversity and inclusion. We touched upon topical issues such as why diversity is important in the legal and professional world, how to deal with micro-aggressions in the workforce, the importance of networking and what we hope to see in the future for both the legal and professional world.
What was really encouraging was how each panel member spoke about their own experience which resonated with all the other members. It was eye opening to see that we all shared very similar experiences and thoughts even though our backgrounds differed. This was the key message to get across to the students- although we are different, we share common experiences in some respects, and we should all be encouraged to promote diversity and inclusion and let it be a strength, not a barrier.
For me personally, it was a great opportunity to explain all the initiatives that we are promoting at Kingsley Napley. I was delighted when I was asked “what is my workplace doing to encourage diversity and inclusion”, and I was able to provide a full list of our initiatives which was well received from my fellow panel members. I was able to talk about Kingsley Napley’s REACH group, our REACH book club, our book drive, how we have recently implemented the Halo Code, the 10,000 black interns initiative, and equally important, how we continue to build upon these initiatives.
The take home message for me following this talk was that although the legal and professional world are going in the right direction for diversity and inclusion, the conversation must continue and we all must share our experiences with all levels of professionals, from students all the way to seniors.
Satvir Sokhi joined Kingsley Napley in 2016 and works as an Associate in the Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury team.
He has experience of working with clients who have sustained a range of injuries, including brain injuries, injuries arising from birth, orthopaedic injuries and gastrointestinal injuries. Sat also advises on complex quantum issues (for example, future accommodation and care claims).
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