The diversity and inclusion (D&I) of our workplace is hugely important to our firm and is reflected in one of our global core values 'we all bring something different'.

Diversity is a word that means different things to different people. And that's the point. Different people. At Gowling WLG we celebrate the diversity of our people - different backgrounds; different cultures; different experiences; different interests; different ages; different needs. We want to create a workplace where our people can be themselves, celebrating the fact that we're all individuals. We are committed to attracting and retaining talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Our strategy

Inclusion for All, is our five year strategy that aims to ensure that all of our people feel included and that they belong at Gowling WLG but, importantly, recognising that everyone has a part to play in making the firm truly diverse and inclusive. We want to be recognised by our clients, peers, people, future employees, communities and market to be a truly diverse and inclusive organisation.

Our ambitions for 2026 are:

  • Diverse teams are the norm;
  • Attract, retain and develop diverse talent;
  • Collective and individual accountability for D&I;
  • Empower our people to be inclusive; and
  • Aligning with client expectations.

Whilst we continue to deliver on firmwide initiatives, what's new in Inclusion for All is that every team, both legal and business services, is required to have an annual D&I action plan detailing key things they are going to deliver to contribute to overall success. It's only by everyone at the firm taking action that we can accelerate change.

Our employee networks

Some of our diversity highlights

  • In 2017 we set gender targets for female partners of 25% by 2021 and 30% by 2026.  In 2021 we exceeded this target and achieved 26% female partners.
  • Our Thriving in Partnership project was our biggest research to date on accelerating progress to achieving gender parity in the partnership. Actions are being implemented to address key barriers.
  • Our Anti-Racism Action Plan was developed in 2020 and puts in place actions to address the underrepresentation of ethnic minority talent in our firm and the wider legal sector.
  • Support is offered to those experiencing symptoms of menopause via our monthly menopause cafes, our support network and online resources.  In addition we have provided educational training to our people including specific sessions aimed at line managers and men.
  • We have 30 fully trained Mental Health Champions and 8 Domestic Violence Champions across the firm whose role is to listen and provide effective signposting.
  • We launched out Black Talent in Law bursary scheme in partnership with The University of Birmingham to offer three students a financial contribution to their studies, a Gowling WLG mentor and work experience.
  • We are signatories of; The Halo Hair Code, The Mental Health at Work Commitment, The UN Global Compact, UN Women's Empowerment Principles, The Rare Race Fairness Commitment, BITC Race at Work Charter, The Menopause Workplace Pledge
  • We are members of; Business Disability Forum, Stonewall, PurpleSpace, Interlaw, Black Solicitors Network, and Working Families,

Key Contacts

Emma Dennis, D&I Manager, Birmingham

Hayley Basford-Walker, D&I Advisor, Birmingham

Our diversity and equal opportunities policy

All job applicants, employees, partners, clients, other lawyers, barristers, third parties and suppliers will not be treated less favourably than others because of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion or belief, gender (including gender identity and re-assignment, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity and paternity), disability, age or sexual orientation and whether or not they work part-time, flexible hours, or on a fixed-term contract. This also includes associated or perceptive discrimination.