Our approach

Our ambition is to build a diverse workforce that reflects all backgrounds and identities, and a workplace that is supportive and inclusive, recognises and nurtures talent, and has a strong sense of community between colleagues. 

We use three pillars to plan and execute our strategy and have included examples of how we deliver against these aims. Our annual impact reports show more detailed measures of our progress:


We know accountability is required to drive change and this starts at the very top.  We aim to take a firmwide approach to inclusion, diversity & wellbeing by embedding inclusivity throughout our structure, practices & processes and taking data-driven interventions to support our strategic aims.

Leadership & Governance

Not only is diversity and inclusion a standing Board agenda item, the firm also has a Shadow Board, which mirrors the current structure of Shoosmiths’ senior management Board. The Shadow Board’s aim is to bring in diverse perspectives from around the firm to create a feedback loop that makes recommendations to the senior management.

Policies & Processes

We have a robust policy suite in place that includes Equal Opportunities and Bullying and Harassment policies, which ensure we take a zero-tolerance approach. We believe our polices also go above and beyond to support our people including: family friendly support covering pathways to parenthood; menopause; health and disability; and trans inclusion guidance notes. Learn more on the careers website about our benefits and policies. 

Data & Reporting

We aim to be transparent with our data and share publicly our UK representation data and report the mandatory pay gap report, as well as including voluntary metrics too. Our pay gap reporting suite is available here. We partner with Pirical to provide more sophisticated insights into hiring, retention and progression of underrepresented groups. This informs our strategy and is reviewed by the Board and Senior Leadership team regularly. 


Developing pathways to support the career development of professionals from underrepresented groups is key to creating equitable outcomes. We focus on equipping everyone with the skills and everyday behaviours to lead inclusively across diverse teams, regardless of level.

Career development

We have High Performing Women Programme which has run for three cohorts now and facilitate Reciprocal mentoring pairings. Reciprocal mentoring aims to turn traditional mentoring on its head to open up a flow of knowledge and sharing of perspectives. In Shoosmiths’ programme, a more junior colleague will take the role of mentor and will be paired with a senior leader as their mentee, but the information flows will be two-way.

Skills and awareness training

Our Inclusive Leadership workshops equip partners and senior managers with the skills to lead diverse teams; whilst all colleagues benefit from unconscious bias training which is mandatory. Everyone at the firm benefits from membership to WorkLife Central; offering a wealth of resources to support, inform and inspire professionals in their family life, work life and wellbeing. 


Creating networks and connections helps everyone to celebrate their identities and aligns with our value of “Being Ourselves.” These networks allow us to support colleagues, our communities and clients, whilst shining a light on stories and issues that matter to all of us, recognising that we all have a role to play as allies in making workplaces and society fairer.

Internal employee networks

We have four active networks: Balance; Embrace; Proud and Mental Health & Wellbeing Champions. These groups provide support to colleagues, celebrate key events and awareness days, as well as raise awareness around a number of important themes and issues. 

Client engagement

We know diversity matters to our clients too and that’s why we are signatories of UK Model Diversity Survey. We partner with our clients to deliver against our shared aims, such as this example with the Volkswagen Group (VWG)

Recognition & partnerships