US firms steal a march on UK counterparts in diversity stakes

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  • Black Solicitors Network? How bizarre. Perhaps it's time for a White Solicitors Network.

    The "diversity" agenda, which essentially means seeking to reduce the proportion of whites in the workforce as much as possible, is inherently political.

    You will not see employers in South Korea seeking to increase the proportion of non-Koreans as much as possible, and being encouraged to do so by the state. Ditto China and Japan and Russia.

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  • I must say that I find the whole diversity thing a bit confusing. Urwin's comments about brands being undermined by a lack of diversity seems to imply that either (a) clients and potential employees will be turned off by the lack of diversity, or (b) a diverse workforce will be more efffective than a workforce that is not as diverse.
    Surely (a) would demonstrate a level of racism/gender discrimination in the client/future employee and (b) would raise all sorts of unpalatable questions concerning the different attributes of the genders, eugenics etc...

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  • People tend to be drawn to other people who are similar to them, whether in background, race or general demeanour: FACT. As odd as it might seem to non-ethnic minorities, a black African client, for example, will sometimes feel more comfortable instructing a lawyer who is likely to better understand them and their needs because they have a racial and therefore (more often than not) a cultural link. Sensibility to a client's needs is key in the legal industry. I know of a female Asian barrister who was specfically requested by a female Asian lay client, notwithstanding her lack of experience in the matter in question and the solicitor's recommendation that somebody more senior be briefed. These sorts of tendencies aren't racist; it's called human nature and will always be there! Cultural/racial diversity should be encouraged because it DOES make businesses that bit more attractive; to describe it as a "puzzling" sort of "phenomenon" demonstrates, to my mind, a lack of depth of analysis of the real issues involved.
    South Korea, Japan and China (being some of the examples previously cited in these discussions) are less ethnically diverse in their populations than the UK, which means that they have less of a requirement to adapt their systems than we do.

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