Why I participate in DiversCity

DiversCity is a very special event: it provides a platform for the LGBT community to support and encourage one another when considering and settling into life as a City lawyer. For students, the event provides encouragement to those that may be hesitant about stating that they are LGBT in application forms, the belief that it is possible to be completely ‘out’ at a City firm, and also offers an insight to those who simply want to find out more about a career as a lawyer in the City.

For me, at the time I was applying for a training contract, all of the above applied.  Admittedly, I only heard about DiversCity once I started my training contract, but that made me all the more determined to get involved. I wanted to ensure that students were made aware of events, as well as spreading the message that being LGBT is a strength in the City.

As a female gay trainee, I was initially hesitant about being out at work. That decision was taken out of my hands accidentally by a good friend of mine who did not even contemplate that it might be something that I considered to be an ‘issue’. Since then, I have never looked back.

Being an LGBT lawyer (and telling people about it!) has opened many doors. I co-chair the firm’s network, which has increased my exposure in the firm and subsequently my confidence.

I have formed friendships with colleagues who I may otherwise not have met. I have been given the opportunity to be creative, march at Pride with other networks, and meet some fascinating and inspirational people from other law firms and industries. I have learnt that being LGBT is not something to hide away at work, in fact it can be a useful way to start a conversation about you as a person, not just as the ‘new trainee’ in a particular department.

Attending DiversCity will give you the opportunity to hear others’ stories of being out at work (at trainee level and more senior), hear their experiences of working in a City law firm, and give you the confidence to appreciate that your diversity is an extremely important part of shaping the industry.

Written by DiversCity mentor Joy Tickler from RPC

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