Law firm wins the European Diversity Awards
Browne Jacobson win Social Mobility Initiative of the Year at the European Diversity Awards 2023
UK & Ireland firm Browne Jacobson wins Social Mobility Initiative of the Year at the European Diversity Awards 2023 in recognition of the steps it has taken to address social inequality in the firm and the wider legal profession and more particularly for the firm’s Fairer Access to Real Experience (FAIRE) programme. The firm received the international award on 11 November 2023 following its fourth consecutive ranking as a top five employer and the highest-ranked law firm in the Social Mobility Index 2023.
Launched in 2010, the European Diversity Awards (EDA) celebrate those individuals and organisations whose outstanding leadership has made a genuine difference to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda.
Browne Jacobson launched its FAIRE programme in 2021 when it hosted the UK’s largest virtual work experience programme attended by over 7000 students. FAIRE is an innovative programme which offers in-person and virtual work experience opportunities to candidates specifically from lower socio-economic backgrounds, removing barriers for those who would not otherwise get the opportunity to have a career in the law, making sure the playing field is equal for all, regardless of background or connections. And demonstrating that a career in law does not depend on “who you know”.. Since its launch, the biannual FAIRE events have drawn participation from over 30,500 students from more than 2000 schools and academies and more than 90 universities.
This ranking follows the firm being named as ‘National (British) Winners of the Equity Trailblazer’ by the National British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) Business Awards last month.
Since 2016, Browne Jacobson has implemented various initiatives to improve social mobility both within the firm and in the wider legal profession. This includes revolutionising its recruitment processes by removing academic barriers, anonymising applications, focusing its outreach work on social mobility ‘cold spots’, recruiting from under-represented schools and universities via its?virtual careers fairs and running successful mentoring schemes for Black and Ethnic Minority students.
On the win, Caroline Green, Senior Partner at Browne Jacobson, who leads on diversity, inclusion and well-being at the firm comments: “We are delighted to be acknowledged as the international leader for our ongoing efforts in promoting social mobility.
We have witnessed first-hand the transformative and positive impact our FAIRE programme has had on our business, our clients, our team, and the exceptional talent we recruit and retain.
We are passionate about ensuring that fairness and inclusion are at the heart of all of our career-focused initiatives. People from lower socio-economic and minority backgrounds are still hugely underrepresented in the legal profession so initiatives like FAIRE are vital in changing the way law firms recruit talent and ensuring they allow individuals to thrive and succeed.”
Declan Vaughan, People Director at Browne Jacobson said: "Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion are fundamental principles of our firm's strategy, and receiving the Social Mobility Initiative of The Year award across Europe reaffirms our dedication to addressing some of society's biggest issues.
As the UK’s second leading employer in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2023, we are committed to innovative ways of attracting future talent and to helping people from all backgrounds get a foot in the door, highlighting the importance of initiatives like FAIRE to enable that.
The Social Mobility Inclusion team which we’re establishing will represent our latest commitment to advance this cause, and I am immensely proud to lead us into the next phase of action.”