The members and staff at Hardwicke are committed to equal opportunities at work and at the Bar. This commitment manifests itself in our policies and procedures, in our strategic objectives, and in our recruitment practices. We take a pride in ensuring that everyone has the best opportunity to join our team and to be the best they can be. We have a commitment to encourage others to join the legal profession. Our people are our greatest asset and we want to attract the very best talent possible. For more information visit our Recruitment pages and our Pupillage pages.
We do not tolerate discrimination on any grounds in the selection, treatment or conduct of any of Hardwicke’s members, pupils or staff.
In order to achieve our goals there are a number of initiatives we have been involved in over the years to contribute to the progression and diversity of the Bar. If you would like to know more please contact Amanda Illing, CEO, who works alongside our Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Committee. Our EDI Officers are Morayo Fagborun-Bennett, James Hall, Matthew Hodson and Ebony Alleyne.
Hardwicke’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies are reviewed annually by the EDI Committee when setting priorities for the year ahead. These priorities are reviewed by the Chambers Management Committee on an annual basis.
- Stonewall Diversity Champions
Hardwicke is a Stonewall Diversity Champion. Stonewall is Britain’s largest charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. The Diversity Champion programme is an employers’ forum promoting good practice on sexual orientation, its ethos being: “People perform better when they can be themselves”.
- FreeBar, the LGBT+ Network for the Bar
Hardwicke was proud to collaborate with other chambers to create FreeBar, a network for everyone at the Bar who believes in equality for LGBT+ individuals and for all those who work at the Bar – whether you are a member, pupil, member of staff, member of the judiciary, or a person who works with members of the Bar. If you would like more information, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our members have also commented on LGBT+ issues facing the Bar and the judiciary in the media.
- Disability and Accessibility at Hardwicke
Appropriate facilities for disabled people, and disabled access are maintained to ensure that a visit to Hardwicke is thought out carefully and meets your needs. Accessible toilet facilities are available; guide dogs for people with impaired vision are welcome; a laptop computer is available for any conferences attended by people who have impaired hearing. If a visitor has specific requirements they are encouraged to speak to one of our Front of House team to ensure we can do everything possible to make your visit to Hardwicke comfortable and easy.
- Hardwicke’s Gender Equality Pledge
Hardwicke is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of women in the workplace, and specifically at the Bar. Hardwicke’s members and staff belong to numerous women’s gender equality groups and industry fora to promote and support gender equality, particularly in areas of the profession historically dominated by men.
- Black Solicitors’ Network and UK Diversity Legal Table
Hardwicke is proud to have been top ranked as Black Solicitors’ Network ‘Chambers of the Year’ in 2011, 2012 and 2016.
- Diversity Data Publication
The Bar Standards Board Code of Conduct states that a summary of the Diversity Data submitted by the Members of the Workforce be published on chambers’ website by 31 December 2012 and thereafter every three years. The summary for our 2020 data, in accordance with these rules, can be found here (Hardwicke Diversity Data 2020) and below.
Any questions relating to our equality and diversity regulations, please contact our EDI Committee here: EDI@hardwicke.co.uk
- Wellbeing Programme
Hardwicke is keen to promote mental health support and wellbeing in the workplace, and has an internal scheme – the Employee Assistance Programme – to help support these objectives.
Hardwicke has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Bar Council to recognise our efforts to promote wellbeing.
- #BlackLivesMatter Pledge
Hardwicke strongly supports those seeking justice for George Floyd and all those whose lives have been cut short as a result of systemic racism and associated violence. We also acknowledge the pain and frustration experienced in Black communities across the world at another senseless death.
The impact of the current pandemic, as it kills ethnic minorities at a higher rate than their white counterparts including so many of our key workers, is not lost on us. This is a time for each organisation and each individual to reflect on how to take a stand against racism in all its forms, inequality experienced by Black communities and many others because of racism and how to help change our society for the better.
The words of our colleague Morayo Fagborun Bennett highlight the need for introspection.
“Racism lives on a spectrum. At one end you have the horrific killing of George Floyd and across that spectrum sit a number of everyday incidents. Racism is so deeply ingrained that it is often accepted as the norm by both victims and aggressors. It is the casual racist language or a racist song thrown down on public transport. It is being denied entry into a bar on the basis that there is a private function going on, without any check to see if your name is on a guest list. It is security guards following you whilst you do your shopping. It’s the person clutching their handbag that little bit tighter when you come into the room. It is being mistaken for the only other black person in the workplace. This is not just about George Floyd. This is not just about another senseless killing. It is about changing the way that we treat each other.
Only when we safeguard and preserve the dignity of all people can real change take place. It is about challenging your own beliefs and challenging the unacceptable behaviours that you see in your own environment. Many people do go the extra mile to act as allies. Let’s all be proactive. Let’s have the uncomfortable conversations. Let there be momentum beyond the news cycle. Don’t just talk about it, be about it!”
Hardwicke values diversity. It makes us better. As a Chambers we stand against the inequality suffered by Black communities and all communities experiencing racism here and around the world. We echo and endorse Morayo’s call to action and not just talk. We will continue to champion acceptance without exception, equality and justice for all.
Brie Stevens-Hoare QC & PJ Kirby QC
Joint Heads of Chambers