At Penningtons Manches, we acknowledge that people differ – in ways that are visible such as age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity and physical appearance, as well as those that are not obvious, for example education, social background, religion, sexual orientation, personal experiences and perspectives. We believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce generates vitality for our firm and helps to shape individuals’ professional development.
Disabilities In Focus
Penningtons Manches encourages its employees to be their ‘true self’. The firm recognises that in order to maximise its success, it needs to ensure that it is diverse and inclusive of all characteristics, experiences and perspectives.
The disability sub group of our Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed to look at all aspects of physical and mental disability and how these may affect our workforce with a view to offering an increased level of support and understanding. The sub group assists the firm in its commitment to recognising disability as a valued aspect of diversity, to embracing access as a matter of social justice, and to designing more welcoming and inclusive environments which can be adapted to an individual’s needs. The group is responsible for maintaining our dedicated intranet page, publicising events such as mental health week and working with external organisations to remove physical and attitudinal barriers that cause exclusion and disadvantage to disabled people. We look to provide a channel for employees to voice their opinion, both internally and externally, on the issues they identify as important.
Mental health remains a key focus for our Diversity and Inclusion Committee and an integral part of our wellbeing programme. At Penningtons Manches, we recognise that law is viewed as one of the most stressful areas to pursue a career and as a Firm, we are taking steps to ensure our employees maintain a good work / life balance. We work closely with mental health charities such as ‘Mind’ and run workshops for employees which include mindfulness, meditation and building resilience. We also recently introduced an Agile Working Policy and invested in new technology which enables employees to work from home; this has been shown to impact positively on mental health and is already proving to be hugely successful. Finally, we are proud to have a qualified mental health first aider in most of our offices and all partners and line managers have been trained in the basics of mental health so that our employees can feel supported.
We are working hard to progress our awareness, education and inclusiveness for all employees dealing and coping with disabilities to ensure that each individual, regardless of their personal circumstances, can successfully pursue their career goals at our firm.