The importance of LGBTQ+ spaces on International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
Members of Kingsley Napley’s Diversity & Inclusion group attended the Student Pride careers fair at the University of Westminster on Saturday 28th of February 2015.
The event had a real buzz about it. There were lively debates, music, stalls and various freebies.
The event had an LGBTQ focus, but the underlying message of the event was to highlight to students that diversity is welcome in the modern day workplace and in the legal sector. In fact, it is this very diversity which makes the workplace a happy and productive environment.
A wide range of organisations were present at the event, including representatives from a range of professional services such as Clifford Chance, Barclays, IBM, DWF, Google and Norton Rose Fulbright to name but a few.
Our team’s t-shirts featuring the #nolabels logo were not only poignant, but also sent a clear message as to where we stand on issues of diversity and inclusion.
This event gave us a real opportunity to talk to students about their career aspirations and their experiences of higher education and the workplace. Our objective was to support them and show them that Kingsley Napley is an inclusive place to work. It is the type of workplace where diversity is welcomed and appreciated.
Many at the event advised that they had never considered a career in law. One student told me that she did not think she would be welcomed in a law firm as a lesbian woman. Another individual who attended the event tweeted about our involvement and expressed their surprise that Kingsley Napley would be involved with Student Pride. It is views such as this that reinforce to us why it is important to be visible about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
My personal experiences of diversity in the workplace have been varied. I have experienced both covert and blatant discrimination as a black female. To be told ‘there is only so far you will ever be able to go’ not only had a devastating effect on my self-esteem, but also made me sensitive to any discussions about career progression. Thankfully my experience at Kingsley Napley has been entirely positive.
Whilst we know we have work to do, we can be proud of the achievements we have made thus far. Onwards and upwards.
Please also see Melinka Berridge’s blog - Understanding diversity and inclusion: what it means at Kingsley Napley.
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