A recent survey of UnionLine employees for the Solicitors Regulation Authority has revealed that 60 per cent of respondents were among the first generation of their family to go to university.
The survey, which was conducted by the firm across the year and submitted to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on September 30, is required to show the equality and diversity data of the company. It was recognised that there was a lack of a diverse legal profession, so since 2011 the Legal Services Board has required regulators to monitor the equality and diversity of their firms.
As a result, all firms regulated by the SRA are required to submit their equality and diversity data each year. The SRA can then identify and inform the approach firms take to recruitment, promotion and other workplace policies.
The SRA has been keeping data for two years, allowing law firms across the country to see how they compare, and to identify areas for improvement. UnionLine has been able to identify key areas where it is ahead of the national trend.
Sixty per cent of UnionLine employees were the first generation of their family to go to university, putting us ahead of the national figures of just 34 per cent. However, 10 per cent of UnionLine employees did not attend university at all. This figure is lower than the SRA’s figures, which show 37 per cent of workers in the profession have not attended higher education.
Results showed that 10 per cent of the firm’s respondents considered themselves to have a disability under the definitions of the Equality Act 2010. In the SRA figures, this number stands at just two per cent.
It was also revealed that 40 per cent of respondents working at the firm were aged between 25 and 34, compared to 31 per cent nationally. Seventeen per cent of employees at UnionLine were aged 35 to 44, 10 per cent were aged 45 to 54, and 33 per cent were aged between 16 and 24.
All respondents who stated they held a managerial role within UnionLine were female, while 33 per cent of chartered legal executives were male. Eighty-three per cent of solicitors at the firm are female.
Thirty-three per cent of respondents to the UnionLine survey are male, and 67 per cent are female. We match up across the legal profession, with the national figures showing 36 per cent of workers are male and 64 per cent are female.
Just over three per cent of UnionLine employees attended school outside of the UK, compared to seven per cent in the SRA’s data. Of those who attended school in the UK, 93 per cent attended a state school. Just 78 per cent of respondents at a national level attended a UK state school.
However, there were some areas where UnionLine has potential to improve its equality and diversity data.
Seventeen per cent of employees within UnionLine are from BAME backgrounds, according to the survey. Employees from white UK backgrounds made up 83 per cent of responses. In the SRA data, 85 per cent of law firm employees are white, with just 15 per cent from BAME backgrounds.
Seven per cent of employees at UnionLine said they were the primary carer for a child under 18, yet in the SRA data, 28 per cent of law firm employees are the main carer for a child.