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Diversity and Inclusion at Express Solicitors

Express Solicitors have been a forward-thinking company from the very beginning. Since being founded in 2000, we have prided ourselves on being different and embracing the variety of backgrounds within our teams.

Why have an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network?

We believe that to create an environment where diversity can flourish, it is vital for all staff feel supported, heard, and represented in the workplace.

We have diversity at every level of our organisation, with 25% of our workforce identifying as BAME, from a wide spectrum of religions and speaking over 20 different languages. Women make up 70% of our workforce, with 52.5% of our Partners being female. Click here to read our latest gender pay gap report.

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network has representatives from each department, to ensure that all staff feel represented and have a point of contact should they have any questions or want to raise any issues.

Here are some of the ways we promote Diversity & Inclusion at Express:

  • A full calendar of event to raise awareness of topics and communities. Click here to see our latest events
  • Regular Diversity and Inclusion section in our monthly newsletter, to highlight all the fantastic work the team does
  • Give everyone the choice to have their pronouns in both their internal and external emails – to help with inclusivity of non-binary (they/them) or transgender people
  • Suggestion boxes in all buildings so our colleagues can leave comments anonymously
  • Emergency sanitary products in every bathroom across all buildings
  • Introduction of gender-neutral toilets in two of our buildings

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Gender pay gap

At Express Solicitors, we are mindful of the gender pay gap. We are proud to have grown over the past 21 years and, in line with gender pay gap regulations, have produced our second gender pay gap report.

You can read the full report and get better acquainted with our workforce, as well as information on the hourly pay and bonuses for our employees.

Read about the latest events organised by the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network

Neurodiversity Awareness Week – 18th-22nd March 2024

18th March marked Neurodiversity Awareness week and to mark it we sat down with some of our employees to hear about their experiences with neurodiversity. Check out the videos below:

International Women’s’ Day – 8th March 2024

On March 8th we celebrated International Women’s day by putting together a video of our staff celebrating this year’s theme set by the UN, “Inspire Inclusion.” Check out the video below

World Hijab Day – 1st February 2024

On February 1st we celebrated World Hijab Day. We hosted an event to promote valuable discussion surrounding what the hijab means to people, the Islamophobia still faced by Muslims in 2024 and what the Quran actually teaches. Express colleagues could try on abayas and hijabs guided by Fatimah Ashraf who organised the event with the help of our network.

Diwali Celebration – 24th November 2023

Diwali is known as the festival of lights and a common thing which Hindu people do at Diwali is to decorate the inside and outside of their homes with Diyas (candles) as decoration, but also to invite the Goddess Lakshmi into our homes to bless them. This year we had an activity of painting Diyas, whereby people were able to decorate and take home their own Diya! We also had a Henna artist come do henna on people who wanted it done. Henna Is typically done around religious and celebratory events in Hindu Culture. We had lots of sweets and Bollywood music playing also – to make it enjoyable and a celebration for all who came.

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Menopause Lunch Drop-in – 21st May 2023

On 21st May 2023, we held our first voluntary “drop in, bring your own lunch” session for those going through or affected by menopause.

Attendees had a choice of attending in person or remotely via Microsoft Teams. The session was a safe space for everyone to discuss anything surrounding menopause, whether they were personally going through it or not.

Mental Health Lunch Drop-in – 2nd February 2023

On 2nd February 2023, we held our first voluntary “drop in, bring your own lunch” session both in the office and via Microsoft Teams to discuss anything related to mental health.

The session was a safe space for staff to speak about mental health and share any thoughts they had about the topic, whether they wanted to raise awareness of an issue or seek the support of others.

South Asian Heritage Month – July/August 2022:

This year was the first time Express Solicitors celebrated South Asian Heritage Month which ran from the 18thJuly 2022-17th August 2022.

On the 4th August , the D+I group organised a fantastic day with a theme of “Journeys of the Empire”.

The event was to commemorate two significant anniversaries for the South Asian diaspora:

The first being the 75th Anniversary of Partition and the creation of India and Pakistan. This was the largest cross-country migration in history, resulting in over 2 million deaths on either side of the border and over 15 million people being displaced.

The second being the 50th Anniversary of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin. They were expelled so that the indigenous citizens would take charge of their economic affairs and 80,000 people were given 90 days to leave Uganda, forcing people to sell their homes and businesses for pittance and leave the country.

Staff were encouraged to cook and bring in South Asian dishes for all the teams to come and enjoy. The teams cooked a delicious range of dishes including samosas, onion bhajis, biryanis, sweet rice, lassi, rose milk, Indian chai and much more.

We also had a qualified henna artist attend on the day, to elegantly decorate our hands with henna which was a first-time experience for some.

Members of the D+I group prepared Vlogs by people who experienced both events first hand, and used the event to raise awareness of the plight of South Asians and the struggles they faced leaving their countries, homes and families and relocating, often to different countries.

This was a great opportunity for everyone to get together and speak to other colleagues in different departments too and build relationships within the firm.

The event was well received, and several people later advised they had no knowledge of these events and appreciated that these subjects were being raised and discussed.

Pride Month – June 2022:

Here at Express Solicitors and Ontime Reports, we celebrated Pride Month in June 2022 by hosting a bake sale, a Pride Quiz and a “Wear a colour of the rainbow” week. All of the staff enjoyed the baking as well as the Quiz, and all of the funds raised were donated to The Proud Trust, a charity helping LGBTQ+ youth in Manchester and the surrounding areas.

Express Solicitors has a large LGBTQ+ community and throughout June we were proud to represent them by celebrating Pride month.

We put on a full calendar of events to show our support of the wider LGBTQ+ community. We hosted virtual Pride Quiz, and a bake sale to raise money for The Proud Trust, a charity helping LGBTQ+ youth in Manchester and surrounding areas.

We also had a “Wear a colour of the rainbow” week, where staff were encouraged to wear bright colours to show their support for Pride.

We will also be attending Manchester Pride Parade in August where we will be marching alongside The Law Society to show solidarity to the LGBTQ+ community.

International Women’s Day – March 2022:

On 8th March 2022, Express Solicitors held an event for International Women’s Day. There were numerous speakers including our very own Adele Greenough (Partner, RTA), Jennifer Lutton (Partner, OLPL), Seetal Sagar-Jhanji (Partner, EL) and Laura Lofthouse (Trainee Solicitor, EL), alongside an external speaker Stefanie Cochrane (Barrister, Cobden House Chambers).

The speakers discussed their experiences of being women working in law and their journey throughout their careers. We all found the stories of our colleagues to be deeply inspiring and uplifting. It was an incredible experience to hear people share their journeys and learn from each other. It made us even more proud to be able to celebrate the movement and women in the law. It’s important to be part of the change for good.

LGBT+ History Month – February 2022:

Dr Carl Austin-Behan came in to give us a talk during LGBT+ History Month. Dr Carl discussed with us (both a live audience and by MS Teams) his background in the RAF – being removed from his role, his time in the fire service, how he became an activist, his time as the first openly gay Lord Mayor, his current role advising Andy Burnham, allyship, his OBE and further charitable work. He also discussed with us the journey both him and his husband went through to become parents. We learnt a lot, including the ability of individuals able to make such a difference. Key themes included respect, allyship and the importance of a wide umbrella Diversity and Inclusion Group. Dr Carl Austin0Behan continues to work across all the Greater Manchester communities and had practical and sensible advice.

Black History Month – October 2021:

The theme of Black History Month 2021 was “Proud to Be” and the Diversity and Inclusion Group encouraged people to share what they are proud of being. The main aims were to celebrate, educate, debate and campaign for racial justice and equality. This has been furthered by the events of 2020, including the Black Lives Matter movement. Resources including articles, podcasts, books and webinars were shared to all staff to encourage people to learn, educate and become more aware of Black History Month.