DiversCity in Law is a unique event which deals with a delicate issue in a completely professional, positive and inspiring way. A lot of people from the LGBT+ community still hold the feeling they are likely to face (un)conscious bias when working in the City, particularly in the legal sector. The annual DiversCity initiative recognises this and gathers a number of high-profile city firms to separate myths from reality, dispel a lot of the misconceptions around the issue, and show their support to a group which has in the past been heavily segregated, both in and outside the workplace.
I was very lucky to be able to attend this event in 2016 as it allowed me to meet professionals from a variety of firms, at various different stages of their careers, and learn more about their journeys. Everyone I met was very genuine about their experiences, both good and bad, which meant those of us attending heard an honest and balanced account of what it is (and, for comparison, was) to be LGBT in the City. The day was very well planned with a number of talks, panels and workshops – some of the presentation highlights included Harry Small from Bakers and Clare Fielding from (at the time) Gowling WLG, both of whom shared truly inspiring and very personal stories.
The contacts I made during the event put me in an incredible position to progress my career, and gave me the confidence that I can do so without hiding who I am. Meeting people from the firms I was interested in made a real difference when I was later invited to interviews, as I felt much more comfortable talking about what attracted me to the firm. DiversCity was also the event where I first met representatives from Baker McKenzie, the firm that I am very lucky to be starting my training contract with next year.
In overall summary, it was most definitely a five-star event! I met some wonderful people that day, both lawyers and lawyers-to-be, so I would heartily recommend it without hesitation to anyone interested in a City career! The mentoring scheme offered alongside the event is also an unmissable opportunity, my mentor was absolutely fantastic!