The legal profession has no doubt made great strides in its efforts to become more diverse and inclusive over the last few years. This has included encouraging social mobility through offering new routes into a legal career. Whilst there is still a way to go, we know that there are many advantages to fostering an inclusive environment within the firm, such as:
Ashfords has recently partnered with three new organisations to support our ‘Aspire with Ashfords’ work experience programme – the Bristol Future Talent Partnership, Exeter University Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Business Partnership.
Week-long work experience programmes were held in both our Exeter and Bristol offices in July, in collaboration with these organisations. The programme consisted of workshops created by the Talent Development and Talent Attraction teams, including departmental overviews from each department at the firm – with experiences from our people who have overcome obstacles to meet their career goals.
The aim was to inspire students whilst providing practical advice and skills workshops, that will help them tackle their future careers. Over 40 of our people at the firm took part in delivering these weeks.
We’ve since received encouraging feedback from those who took part, such as the below glowing testimonial from a Bristol-based student:
“[The week] wasn't what I expected it to be at all and exceeded my expectations by far. I found it extremely useful, its taught me a lot of key skills like how to deliver presentations, how to write a good CV and how to project myself when talking to people”.
Ashfords will continue to offer work experience insight weeks to a diverse range of students going forward, in keeping with the firm’s values. Those involved took inspiration from the ‘think team’ value – this included collaborating with our people across different departments and specialties. Participants were encouraged to share knowledge and ‘make a difference’, to ‘be open’ and ‘grow’ their skill sets, to support their future careers.
The Bristol Future Talent Partnership work with young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. The partnership works to remove barriers, raise aspirations and provide talent with opportunity - by providing high quality work experience opportunities.
The Exeter University Sutton Trust supports young people from less advantaged backgrounds to access leading universities and careers by running programmes, that give students practical advice for the future. This includes work experience placements.
The Social Mobility Business Partnership (SMBP), a volunteer-led charity, brings together professional service firms, commercial organisations and professional sport teams - to support students from low income backgrounds in their pursuit of a career. In collaboration with SMBP, volunteers from the firm delivered a one day resilience and goal setting skills workshop to fourteen students at Exeter Chiefs Sandy Park.