BAME support network launched by Burges Salmon with aim of moving from diversity to inclusion

April 12, 2019

Bristol-headquartered national law firm Burges Salmon has launched BCultured, its social and support network for BAME employees.

Entitled ‘From Diversity to Inclusion’ and with a focus on the issue of workplace inclusivity, the launch event for the group was attended by more than 100 guests.

The evening centred on a panel discussion covering how professional services firms can establish and maintain an inclusive environment for BAME employees and more widely.

Speakers on the panel included Mohammed Saddiq, Managing Director at GENeco, Annie Budd from Dupont Consulting, Saida Bello from Bristol City Council and Dr Tunde Okewale MBE, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers.

Co-chair of the group and Burges Salmon senior associate Marcus Walters said: “The event was a huge success, the turnout was humbling and the panellists and chair were exceptional, facilitating a really thought-provoking discussion on a topical and extremely important subject.

“We very much look forward to hosting similar events in the near future and working with other firms and organisations in the region, to contribute to, develop and grow the regional networks that support and facilitate the organisations within which we work becoming more representative of the areas/regions within which they are located from a BAME perspective.”

Diversity has been high on many firms’ agendas in recent years. In the legal industry the proportion of BAME lawyers increased from 14% in 2014 to 21% in 2017.

However, after recruitment many firms struggle to create a culture of inclusive engagement for BAME professionals. The launch event tackled what can be done to nurture and retain BAME talent and how firms can move from diversity to inclusion.

Burges Salmon managing partner Roger Bull said: “I thought the evening was truly inspiring and it was a pleasure to have been able to attend.  The firm’s leadership team looks forward to working with our BCultured group to drive further important initiatives on inclusion and diversity within Burges Salmon.”

Saida Bello added: “Huge congratulations to Burges Salmon on the launch of its BAME staff network, BCultured. It was a pleasure to be one of the panellists discussing how we move from diversity to inclusion and lead change.”

Pictured at the launch, from left:  Mohammed Saddiq, GENeco, Evelyn Ofori-Koree, Descartes Solicitors (chair), Saida Bello, Bristol City Council, Annie Budd, Dupont Consulting and Dr Tunde Okewale MBE, Doughty Street Chambers


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