Welcome to campaigning
We faced a pandemic that did not impact everyone equally. Rather, it was proof that people experience reality very differently. We saw people from ethnic minorities with significantly worse health outcomes, women disproportionately facing choices they shouldn’t have to make between career and family, and LGBT+ people moving back home and back to marginalisation. The world showed us how important it is that we need to stand together
The killing of George Floyd and the events that flowed from that were a stark reminder that black people in many parts of the world, and people that come from ethnic minorities do not have the same equality of opportunity or equality of experience as they engage with society.
It was a reminder that we cannot be a true meritocracy until we address the structural barriers that prevent that meritocracy happening. This was the year that reminded us that, while a lot has been done, we have a lot more to do. For progress to happen we have to be prepared to campaign for it. If we want to change our rules, our culture and the lived experiences of our people, that’s a permanent commitment to continually champion the world we want to see.
Our challenge is to design an inclusion campaign that people want to join, and to mark and celebrate our moments of success on that journey. We have to acknowledge those who take us a step of the way each time, knowing that it will be our collective steps that advance us. Our 2020 Inclusion Report is about celebrating some of the people who did that this year. Great campaigning is not run by one or two people but each of us, and my overriding takeaway this year is the phenomenal enthusiasm and commitment that our people have shown to this. At a time when many of us were apart, people didn’t disconnect; they worked together and consistently stepped up – from the top table to the trainee – and that’s been incredible to watch and be a part of.
Inclusion is undoubtably one of the fastest growing areas of interest across the world, but it’s not new for us. It’s just a new word for one of the oldest principles of the law: that all of us are entitled to equal status and standing, and all of us should have access to justice.
As one of the greatest law firms in the world, we are not neutral observers of the law – we are custodians of it. A value that you don’t demonstrate is a secret – if you believe in something, you have to campaign for it. We believe in inclusion and every one of us is the most effective ambassador for our values in our own spaces.
Welcome to campaigning.