Magic circle firm Linklaters has moved towards its focus on increased diversity by adopting a new Afro hair code or, to be more specific, a ‘black hair code’ that protects staff with Afro hairstyles, along with braids, cornrows and all the other manifestations of afro hair.
The firm said that the policy change had been made in order to ‘explicitly protect’ black staff and their hairstyles and to meet the necessary issues of racial injustice in the UK, an issue that has suddenly become so pronounced with the comments made by Meghan Markle in her interview with Oprah and the comments about race discrimination.
David Martin, global diversity partner at Linklaters, said: ‘At Linklaters we are committed to being home to a culture and environment in which racial, ethnic, cultural and religious identities are celebrated and individuals feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work. We pride ourselves on our values of respect, integrity and inclusion and stand against all forms of racism and discrimination.’
Last year, the firm acknowledged it lacked black racial diversity and set three ‘aspirational’ targets: 15 per cent black and underrepresented minority ethnic partners by 2025; 15 per cent underrepresented minority ethnic partners in new partner elections annually; and five times as many black partners globally by 2027.
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