Celebrating and Looking Forward to LGBT+ History Month
During February, the team here at Hodge Jones & Allen will recognise and celebrate UK LGBT+ History Month. The aim of the month is to promote equality and diversity by increasing visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) community and its history, stories and experiences.
Hodge Jones & Allen LGBT+ Network
We are proud to be an inclusive employer and in 2018, launched our LGBT+ Network. The Network includes a mix of LGBT+ and non-LGBT+ members, internal and external. Our LGBT+ Network plays a core role in the firm, providing confidential support to staff on LGBT+ issues, consulting on the firm’s policies, practices and business development initiatives, as well as organising events, and providing support to enable employees to report any incidences of orientation or gender related discrimination or harassment.
Our LGBT+ Network is currently run by a small committee, which operates in conjunction with the HR, Marketing and IT departments. Most recently, Hodge Jones & Allen’s Diversity Champion, Bahareh Amani joined the network, which also enjoys close bonds with The Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association (LAGLA), The Interlaw Diversity Forum, The Law Society and Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL).
Our LGBT+ Network members participated in the London Pride and UK Black Pride events, and fundraised for LGBT+ groups such as the Outside Project. Internally, the group has introduced a Network pamphlet for all new starters as part of the firm’s induction process, implemented the ability to set gender pronouns on email signatures, introduced optional rainbow lanyards and consulted on the introduction of gender-neutral bathrooms. In addition to this, the LGBT+ Network regularly releases newsletters and blogs covering legal updates and issues that affect the LGBT+ community in the UK and internationally.
The LGBT+ Network during the Coronavirus pandemic
Despite the vast majority of our employees working remotely since Match 2020, the LGBT+ Network continues to work actively to promote inclusivity and diversity at the firm.
The Network is currently reviewing existing HR policies through an LGBT+ lens, making recommendations to amend and update language, references and terminology where necessary. The network’s long-term goal is to ensure that Hodge Jones & Allen is included in Stonewall’s Top 100 LGBT+ inclusive employers list.