Blake Morgan appoints its first dedicated equality, diversity & inclusion specialist

Leading law firm Blake Morgan has appointed Victoria Hand as its Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Specialist. In this newly created role, Victoria will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of the firm’s EDI strategy, and will be a key member of Blake Morgan’s EDI Committee and HR leadership team.

Victoria has extensive HR and development experience, having worked for legal firms for 20 years, supporting career development, personal resilience, and health and wellbeing.  She is a qualified trainer with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, certified by Mental Health First Aid England as a mental health first aider and is accredited by the British Psychological Society in the use of psychometric tools.  Core to her work has been helping people fulfil their ambitions and potential – identifying drivers and challenges, and removing barriers to development.

One of Blake Morgan’s top priorities is to continue working to become a fully inclusive employer. It is the responsibility of its expert EDI Committee and its HR & Development Director, Liz Bryne, working with the Board to ensure that the firm has in place the right strategies, policies and procedures to deliver this. The addition of a dedicated specialist to lead the EDI initiatives is a key step in making sure that genuine improvements and progress are continuously being made.

As EDI Specialist, Victoria will have responsibility for integrating EDI across Blake Morgan and its policies, as well as project managing the existing programmes – which include the Mental Health First Aider Scheme, Inclusion & Respect Programme, Parental Leave Programme, New Parent Mentoring Scheme, and the firm’s PRIME and Pathways to Law initiatives.  She will work with the firm’s HR leadership team and EDI Committee to drive forward the firm’s EDI strategy, which is focused on attracting, retaining and developing key talent.

Kath Shimmin, Chair at Blake Morgan, and Head of its EDI Committee, said: “The creation of this new role, and the appointment of such a well-qualified expert as Victoria, clearly shows how seriously Blake Morgan takes diversity and inclusion within all parts of our business. The legal profession has work to do to become a truly diverse sector, but leaps and bounds are being made. At Blake Morgan improving equality, diversity and inclusion is top of the agenda.”

Victoria Hand, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist at Blake Morgan, said: “I am hugely honoured and excited to have been appointed to this dedicated EDI role. I am looking forward to working with, and supporting our Inclusion Champions so we can continue to make EDI approachable and actionable. My first priority is to work with our Champions to shape their strategies and action plans for 2022. I would like every single colleague at Blake Morgan to have a stake in EDI. A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions and outcomes for everyone and ultimately means we will succeed as a firm of the future.”