Diversity & Inclusion

Our approach to diversity and creating an inclusive workplace goes beyond just ticking a box.

Overview

We want everyone to be themselves at Travers Smith. We value everything that makes us unique and we recognise that celebrating our differences helps make the firm a special place to work.

Diversity is much more than how we look. It also includes how we think, our experiences, our views and our values.

We believe that true inclusion can only be achieved if we look at diversity in a broader and more holistic way, which breaks down silos and recognises the multiple identities we each carry.

Diversity by Design

Overview

Diversity by Design is the firm's arts-based action plan, which taps into the world of the arts (film, music, television, design and architecture) to help us build diverse, creative and collaborative teams.

Why the arts?

The arts enhance and enliven every aspect of our lives. They benefit us economically, socially, and educationally – from the future prospects of our children, to the vibrancy of our cities, to the contribution made to economic growth.

The arts also have the potential to nurture acceptance by bringing people together across borders, cultures and beliefs. From global television broadcasts which capture seminal moments in history, to the staging of local festivals, the arts promote greater cohesion and understanding among individuals and communities.

At the heart of Diversity by Design is the concept of tapping into the unique experiences and perspectives of artists, designers, commissioners, curators, media personalities, and other individuals from the worlds of art and design, and exploring how this can help us build a more diverse workforce and create high performing, creative and collaborative teams.

Visual art and BAME inclusion

Recognising that Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) inclusion and visibility is particularly poor across a number of City institutions, we invited some of the artists participating in our CSR Art Programme to help lead a discussion about visual art, inclusion and BAME identities.

From the relationship between black women and their natural hair, to the interplay between ethnicity, sexuality and faith, the session explored some of the challenging and complex issues which can disproportionately affect BAME people.

Sponsored by our BAME Group the discussion and themes raised helped inform the firm wide BAME inclusion action plan.

Trans inclusion

Overview

We believe everyone should feel able to be themselves, regardless of gender or gender identity. This is why we are dedicated to promoting trans inclusion across our firm and the wider community.

Great progress has been made across the UK in terms of inclusion for lesbian, gay and bi (LGB) people. However, many laws and systems which were amended or implemented to be more LGB inclusive did not recognise or accommodate trans people. In addition, research demonstrates that the lived experiences of trans people can disproportionately involve verbal, physical and psychological abuse, as well as discrimination in many walks of life. For example, almost half (48%) of trans people in Britain have attempted suicide at least once; 84% have thought about it. Two in five (41%) trans people have been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years. 62% have experienced harassment from strangers in public places.

48%
Almost half of trans people in Britain have attempted suicide at least once.
41%
Two in five trans people have been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years.
62%
62% of trans people have experienced harassment from strangers in public places.

To help promote greater trans inclusion and visibility at the firm, we have delivered the following:

  • Introduced gender neutral facilities in client and staff areas
  • Introduced a revised and more relaxed dress code policy, which explicitly states that people can dress in a way which is in line with their gender identity
  • Developed a suite of trans inclusive policies and best practice guides, including on non-binary identities
  • Delivered trans inclusive training for our front of house staff
  • Invited prominent trans leaders and activists to participate in firm wide seminars and events to share their own insights and experiences

Mental health

Overview

We care about the mental wellbeing of our staff. Supporting each other during challenging times is crucial.

The ability to be open about mental health is critical to us. We are determined to promote a culture in which staff at any level feel comfortable in discussing a mental health issue without fear of being judged or criticised.

It is important that staff feel able to share personal stories and are confident in listening, talking and knowing how to support themselves and others with any issues.

More than just promises, we take meaningful action to ensure that our staff are provided with confidential access to mental health experts, advice and services whenever they need them.

That is why we deliver mental health first aid training, and offer free therapeutic and counselling services, as well as an effective Employee Assistance Plan, for everyone in the firm. We have also trained specialists in our HR team on mental health needs and ensure we create a friendly support network for all our staff at times of crisis.

Gender pay gap reporting

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