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Local businesses join forces to tackle diversity in professional services firms

Two local businesses, Client Talk and Doing Diversity Differently, have entered into partnership to improve diversity in professional services firms. Both businesses are based in the Thames Valley and a chance encounter in 2019, which led to multiple collaborations over 2020, has strengthened yet further in 2021.

The statistics speak for themselves. In the latest SRA survey, whilst below partner level in England & Wales, 59% of lawyers are reported as being female, they still represent only 34% of partners (and it is less than that at larger firms). BAME lawyers represent 21% of lawyers, however, the largest firms reported only 8% BAME partners. At the start of 2020, it was reported that only 11 of the 3000 UK partners across the Big Four were black.

Claire Rason, founder, said: “I created Client Talk to change the conversations that professional services firms are having. One of those conversations needs to be about diversity. I am believer in the power of diverse thinking to solve problems; the problems that professional services firms face are not one dimensional. We need to challenge what good looks like if we are to create the best teams to tackle our clients’ issues. Not only that, if we challenge what good looks like, we create firms where everyone has a voice and where everyone feels like they belong.”

Chico Chakravorty is a diversity consultant who set up Doing Diversity Differently to do just that. Client Talk’s partnership with Doing Diversity Differently brings together their experience working with professional services firms, with the latter’s strength in diversity consulting. The union represents the best of what diverse thinking can bring.  Chico adds: “We challenge each other to look at problems from different perspectives and provide a unique solution for professional services firms.”


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