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Clyde & Co plans radical overhaul of diversity programme

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City firm wants to shake off ‘old boys club’ reputation but Charlotte Proudman isn’t convinced

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City law firm Clyde & Co is set to tackle the root causes of inequality in the profession by totally overhauling its diversity programme.

In an attempt to shake off its ‘old boys club’ reputation, Pauline Caldwell, global HR director at the firm, is in the process of reviewing the firm’s diversity and inclusion schemes. She aims to present the board with a new scheme in January.

But Mansfield Chambers’ barrister and feminist campaigner Charlotte Proudman was cynical. She said only quotas would do.

The legal profession has come under increasing pressure in recent years to improve its social representation. Though law firms are considerably more diverse than the bar and the judiciary, the current figures leave a lot to be desired.

Clyde & Co — which specialises in shipping and insurance law — is demonstrably progressive. It is one of the few City firms to offer a school leavers’ apprenticeship programme, which Caldwell explains is:

[M]ore focused on recruiting people from different backgrounds rather than gender diversity.

The firm’s percentage of BME partners is representative of the general population figure at 14%.

The problems lie in Clyde & Co’s gender demography. With 51% of associate positions filled by women, gender diversity at the recruitment stage is not contentious. However, as Caldwell explains, gender does become an issue at the more senior levels. Only 19% of Clyde & Co’s partners are women.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the firm has already begun to take action on these dismal results. The firm — which has 45 offices across the globe — has piloted a senior leadership programme in the UK. Of the eight participants, six are women.

But more needs to be done, and Caldwell knows this:

We’re looking at what are the one or two good things we need to do for the next year that will really make a difference to our gender and diversity intake.

We applaud Clyde & Co for their commendable statement of intent — but details are still very thin on the ground. Legal Cheek asked the firm for more information about how they aim to combat inequality in the profession, with particular focus on whether the introduction of targets or quotas is in the pipeline, but they declined to comment.

Well-meaning pronouncements of pro-diversity initiatives have long echoed across the profession, though little, if anything at all, has improved in the last five years.

Proudman told Legal Cheek that:

While the scheme is a welcomed step to achieving gender parity, it is important to point out that such schemes should not focus on teaching women to lean in or behave more like men. Gender inequality is not a reflection of women’s inadequacy, it is a reflection of male power.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, she believes that more needs to be done in the fight for gender equality, continuing:

Only quotas for women will ensure absolutely equality. If you believe in gender equality then there can be no justification for supporting anything less.

Time alone will tell whether Clyde & Co’s pro-diversity objectives will have a positive effect or fall on deaf ears.

28 Comments

Quo Vadis

Yawn

(18)(2)

Is It Just Me

Or is Proudman’s face getting smaller and smaller?

(18)(0)

Charlotte Proudcock

BTW – I got English Language Grade C at GCSE which is why my grammar is so schoite…

(14)(1)

Anonymous

As there is no other source quoted, I am beginning to believe that LC is now going to Proudman directly for quotes. When will she stop getting the oxygen of publicity?

(12)(1)

Kuzka's Mother

WHY DID YOU HAVE TO PUT HER FACE THERE WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU

(13)(3)

Anonymous

I just ate a cous cous and feta salad and it was delicious.

(17)(1)

Anonymous

I am really starting to tire of articles about serious subjects being taken over by someone who is undermining the work of others.

Please Legal Cheek, can you find some other way to fuel Ms Proudman’s ego without having to inflict it on the rest of us?

What is your fascination with her and how much exactly is she paying you to keep up her presence on this site at least twice a week with stories she has absolutely no connection to?

(20)(2)

Gus the Snedger

Nah, top bants abound when it’s a Potty Lottie story!

Keep ’em coming!

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Why the FOOK have you asked Proudman’s views on this issue? Have you literally got nothing better to do with your lives?

(12)(2)

Anonymous

Click bait – they know it will get more people viewing the article, and commentating on it, which in turn means they can turn round to their advertisers and demand more money….

Without it, it just becomes another bland story about how a firm is trying to improve female partnership prospects. Stories like that are two a penny.

(17)(0)

Everyone in the world

Hear hear!

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Let me guess, another article about diversity / sexism / racism / discrimination (delete as appropriate) from Katie King…

(8)(1)

Solicitor Avacado

She is NOT a feminist! She is at Cambridge doing a PHD, she is NOT in practice why are people asking for her opinion!?!?!

(10)(4)

Anonymous

Harvard*

(2)(0)

Anonymous

She has a website where she says she is at Mansfield Chambers and invites instructions.

http://www.charlotteproudman.com

(0)(0)

Ms Charlotte Proudperson

It’s meeee! It’s meeee! Look everyone it’s meeee!!!

I shat my big knickers with joy when I saw this!!!

(6)(1)

Anonymous

You shat yourself? That’s LC’s next article sorted then.

(5)(0)

Me!

Can somebody tell me who this Charlotte Proudman is?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

You must be new here.

(3)(0)

@CRProudman

It’s me.

(0)(0)

Not Proud of Proudman

I do wish you would stop calling this self-publicist “Mansfield Chambers’ barrister…” – a search of the Bar Standards Board Register shows no practising barrister of this name. If the BSB’s Register is correct, then it has to be pointed out that if you don’t have a practising certificate, it is professional misconduct to describe yourself as a “barrister” without the humbling addendum “(non-practising)”.

You wouldn’t want to get your favourite rentaquote into trouble, would you?

(11)(0)

Proleperson

Legal Cheek vs. more shite

(0)(2)

Anonymous

It’s a bit boring continually seeing comments saying legal cheek is so shit- if it’s so shit stop reading it! The costant negative comments about Charlotte Proudman are also really boring!!

(2)(8)

Too Obvious

Sorry Charlotte.

(5)(1)

@CRProudman

It’s ok. Comments like these just prove my points.

(0)(2)

Beatleguise.

My head was shrunk using pixie stardust too. Yaaaaaaaa hcjtoooo

(0)(0)

DontDrinktheKoolAid

Is Mansfield Chambers feminist/socialist/equality/egalitarian? Really? Why don’t you ask those who recently decamped to Goldsmith, the majority of whom were women. The majority of whom really are human rights lawyers? There is a story there.

Also, rumour has it that Mansfield Chambers is not quite all it claims to be. At least 2 of the basrristers listed have left. And Ms Proudman has already been mentioned.

What do you think, Mrs Mary Spink?

(3)(0)

@CRProudman

There’s nothing wrong with Mansfield Chambers. Just speculation by right-wing misogynist haters.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.