Led by our Head of HR, Tina Woods, Inspire has been set up to nurture, develop and provide support to all of our talent with a particular focus on career milestones and enabling our people to successfully carve the careers they want.
Through Inspire, we created a Women in Leadership programme in order to support and retain our female talent. The programme is made up of several initiatives: mentoring; skills development and unconscious bias training.
Our Junior Mentoring Scheme is open to everyone in the business at Solicitor and equivalent level across legal, consulting and business support with training sessions run every four months.
We have also delivered unconscious bias training to line managers across the business to ensure that everyone in our business is treated positively by their colleagues.
Case study: Law Returners Programme
We were delighted to be one of the law firms involved in the Women Returners pilot programme to support all qualified solicitors who had not practised law for at least 12 months to return to private practice for an initial 6 month paid placement, with a view to eventually securing a permanent role if one was available.
The Women Returners’ scheme facilitated introductions between applicants to the programme and law firms throughout Leeds and Manchester, and then coached applicants who successfully secured 6 month paid placements on issues that they may encounter when returning to private practice.
We took on two law returners as part of the programme within our Leeds office: Rakhshinda Nazir and Jayne Addison. Both did an excellent job and we were pleased to be able to offer them permanent roles within our Leeds office. They continue to do well so much so that we are developing our own law returners programme over the next 12 months as part of our Inspire network.
Andrew Johnson, office head for Leeds and Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution, said of the programme:
“I am pleased that Gateley has made such a success of the Law Returners programme. Both joiners have made a fantastic contribution to our business since they joined the Group. We have invested the right development and support to help them transition back into the law and they have brought with them life experience and skills which have proved valuable to us as a business. It’s been a win/win and I am proud that one of our actions over the next 12 months is to pilot a Gateley Returners scheme through our Leeds office.”
Solicitor Rakhshinda Nazir said:
“Competition for roles within the legal sector is so fierce that without a dedicated route there is little opportunity to return to private practice after a career break. The coaching offered by the programme was useful, but it was the support from the Gateley team that was invaluable in helping to ease the move back into practising law after a very lengthy period of time away. Coupled with the business accommodating the flexible arrangements that were required to manage family commitments, I was afforded the best opportunity to make the placement a success.
I am delighted to be part of the Commercial Dispute Resolution team in Leeds and am pleased that the business is extending the programme to offer others the opportunity for a supported return to private practice.”