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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

At the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, we acknowledge the significance of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) as fundamental principles guiding our operations and shaping who we aspire to be as an organisation and employer.

This Statement of Intent outlines our commitment to implement a robust Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy which aligns with our vision and values and is meaningful.

Our intention is to incorporate the EDI strategy over a phased period.  We will implement initiatives gradually, recognising that achieving equality, diversity and inclusion is an ongoing and continuous process.

The EDI strategy sits alongside the Tribunal’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, which was launched at the end of 2023. All aspects of the Tribunal’s operations in the future will have due regard to these strategies.

We will routinely review our objectives to identify areas for improvement and growth and updates will be provided here.

Our Strategic Goals

Strategic Goal 1: To ensure that the Tribunal has diverse staff and membership and operates as an inclusive organisation, welcoming all and recognising diversity of culture.

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of recruitment policies and procedures to address the need for improved diversity outcomes.
  • Develop a Recruitment Strategy based on the findings of the review, including engagement with external organisations for insights and guidance on enhancing diversity in future campaigns.
  • Explore the possibility of establishing a mentoring program as part of the new recruitment strategy and outreach efforts.
  • Establish a clear and explicit policy commitment to actively oppose all forms of discrimination and exclusion within the Tribunal.
  • Revise training programs on equality, diversity, and inclusion to increase awareness and understanding of discrimination across all protected characteristics, including but not limited to race, gender, and sexual orientation.
  • Incorporate external speakers and utilise theatre-based learning where appropriate in training sessions.
  • Arrange training sessions for all Members and clerks on relevant aspects of the Equal Treatment Bench Book.
  • Implement mandatory participation in EDI-related training sessions for Members and staff, with provisions for rescheduling missed sessions.
  • Ensure that leadership training for the Management Team and Board of Directors include modules on EDI, recognising the collective responsibility of all staff and Members in implementing EDI policies.

Strategic Goal 2: To ensure that people who work at, and interact with, the SDT are respected regardless of race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation or disability and are treated fairly and without prejudice.

  • Collation and publication of data on gender and ethnicity pay gaps, the principle of equal pay for equal work to apply to all Members and staff.
  • Incorporate an EDI impact assessment into SDT policies and procedures.
  • Review all SDT published documentation to ensure that the language is non specific in relation to gender.
  • Provide the choice to include preferred pronouns in email signatures.
  • Support the review of procedures for assisting vulnerable witnesses.
  • Implement Mental Health Awareness training for all staff and Members.
  • Conduct an EDI survey every three years, using the 2022 survey as a baseline.
  • Encourage active participation by staff and Members in relevant awareness events.

What we are doing at present

We will continue to:

  • Conduct regular surveys to gather feedback directly from service users regarding their experiences at the SDT.
  • Monitor the diversity of individuals appearing before the Tribunal and the subsequent outcomes.  By monitoring this information, despite low engagement in this area, our aim is to build a comprehensive understanding to ensure there is no disproportionality based on protected characteristics.
  • Engage with the SRA and other stakeholders in relation to the sharing of data concerning protected characteristics in support of the above.
  • Maintain the dedicated Diversity and Inclusion working party tasked with monitoring and evaluating the SDT’s efforts in promoting equality.