We are delighted to announce that we won the category of “Best Small to Medium Employer”, for CI businesses of up to 80 employees (as nominated by their employees) on Friday, 16th April.
The awards were judged by an independent diversity panel on behalf of Liberate and BCR Law enjoyed a wonderful awards ceremony with 116 guests.
We have been a DIFERA accredited employer since November 2017.
Partner Wendy Lambert has directed this accreditation and our DIFERA champions, Joanna Gardiner and Katherine McKerrell are being trained with Wendy to deliver ongoing training about the DIFERA principles of promoting diversity, inclusion, fairness and equality, to our current and future staff members.
In June 2017, BCR Law became the first firm within the legal profession in the Channel Islands to seek independent accreditation for being and having a diverse, fair and accepting workplace culture. In November 2017, we achieved this goal and are proud to say that we are now a DIFERA accredited employer.
Last summer, we enrolled in the DIFERA employer accreditation scheme run by Channel Islands equality and diversity charity, Liberate. We were aware that organisations seeking accreditation via the Scheme had to provide their own policies for review by the charity and also needed to be willing to be audited by Liberate through an anonymised questionnaire which all BCR staff were encouraged to respond to. Any improvements necessary could then be made and the resulting standards retained through an annual review.
Inclusion in the scheme was initiated by Business Development Manager Sarah Nibbs and directed by Partner Wendy Lambert. We also view it as a chance to show clients that we are prepared to work by the principles contained in the legal advice that we also provide to them.
The anonymised staff survey undertaken had exceptionally high engagement levels and demonstrated our drive to achieve a quality mark that shows employees (past, present and future), as well as to clients and suppliers, that our organisation places Diversity, Inclusion, Fairness, Equality, Respect and Acceptance at the heart of what we do.
Since then, we have chosen our in-firm diversity “champions”, who will be trained by DIFERA on delivery of its key principles in the workplace in March. A further find for us has been that employees whom we may not have expected to be have come forward to be those champions. This is positive news and shows that all employees have a “voice” if the workplace enables it. The next stage will be for the diversity champions to train their current colleagues about DIFERA principles and for these principles to form part of our ongoing induction and training procedures.
Wendy says: “Our enrollment in the DIFERA scheme was a fantastic opportunity to be assessed independently by a ground-breaking charity and to be educated further about diversity and inclusion. We have a thriving team and believe that this initiative will only help the positive culture of the firm to develop. It shows that we are willing to seek training and accept scrutiny ourselves. In other words, we practice what we preach to other organisations and businesses, and we’re proud to be part of DIFERA.”
Recently, we have also enrolled in Every Child Our Future (ECOF) by enabling certain staff to be trained as reading volunteers in Jersey primary schools. Five of our staff members will begin helping pupils towards greater literacy, and therefore greater inclusivity, later this term. We’re proud to offer flexibility to our employees to enable this initiative to operate.