What is diversity and inclusion (D&I)—law firms
Produced in partnership with Rachel Brushfield of EnergiseLegal

The following Practice Management practice note produced in partnership with Rachel Brushfield of EnergiseLegal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is diversity and inclusion (D&I)—law firms
  • What is D&I?
  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • D&I
  • Regulatory requirements
  • D&I and your business
  • The business impact of D&I
  • Responsibility for D&I
  • Recruiting and retaining diverse talent
  • More...

What is diversity and inclusion (D&I)—law firms

This Practice Note provides a high-level introduction to diversity and inclusion (D&I) and key reasons why it is important to law firms. Specific aspects of D&I are covered in more detail in Practice Notes:

  1. The growing focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) in law firms

  2. Unconscious bias—law firms

  3. Collecting and monitoring diversity and inclusion (D&I) data—law firms

  4. Attracting diverse talent—law firms

  5. Retaining diverse talent—law firms

You may also find it useful to read our D&I subtopic in conjunction with the Practice Compliance subtopic: Equality and diversity (E&D)—overview.

What is D&I?

D&I are separate but closely related concepts. Firms need to ensure they understand the differences between the two and focus on both to maximise the impact their efforts have on the business.


Diversity is about respecting and valuing difference and including people of different:

  1. sex (male/female/intersex)

  2. gender identities, eg transgender or gender non-coforming

  3. age

  4. race and ethnicity

  5. neurodiversity

  6. education and background

  7. weight or physical appearance

  8. religion

  9. physical ability


Inclusion means creating a work environment where all employees are treated fairly, respectfully and can fully contribute to the success of the business. It means providing equal access to opportunities and resources regardless of an individual’s diversity characteristics (as listed above).

Inclusion can be hindered by unconscious bias resulting in preferential treatments benefiting some groups or individuals more than others. For more information about unconscious bias

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