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Public figures back Society/The Glass Network workplace equality launch

18 May 2017

LGBT+ equality in the workplace is the focus of a new campaign launched today by the Law Society of Scotland and The Glass Network.

The campaign, #TheseAreOurPrinciples, encourages everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender to support diversity in the workplace, whatever the size or type of business or organisation.

Leading public and legal figures, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Law Commissioner Hector MacQueen, will set out key principles of law and facts about LGBT+ equality in the workplace in a series of videos to be screened at this evening's launch event in DLA Piper’s Edinburgh offices. Each poses the question: "These are our principles – what are yours?"

The Glass Network is an organisation for LGBT+ legal professionals in Scotland. Founder Drew McCusker, a trainee solicitor at Jackson Boyd Lawyers, commented: "The #TheseAreOurPrinciples campaign is more than just a statement about equality, but demonstrates the accomplishments of the Scottish legal profession and its future development. The high profile vocal and visible support demonstrated in this campaign comes from all corners of the Scottish legal profession."

He continued: “LGBT+ equality has been increasing in Scotland for decades, from decriminalisation to marriage. However, equality is not achieved by law alone. It’s important that there is an open and frank discussion of what more we can do.

“That is why The Glass Network and the Law Society of Scotland are asking ‘What are your principles?’ Sharing this message online is more than a sentiment – it is a visible signal of a law firm or solicitor’s commitment to raising the standards which benefit everyone in the profession regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Eilidh Wiseman, President of the Law Society of Scotland, added: “The Law Society has worked hard to promote equality and diversity in the legal profession, carrying out extensive research, developing an equality and diversity strategy, staging events and introducing equality standards and guides for solicitors. But more still needs to be done.

“Over a quarter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the UK choose not to disclose their sexuality or gender identity at work. By visibly supporting and encouraging LGBT+ staff, firms increase job satisfaction, leading to a more productive and skilled workforce.”

A discussion event will follow this evening's screening of the videos, which feature Ms Wiseman along with Hector MacQueen, Scottish Law Commissioner; Alan Masson, general counsel and chief operating officer, Anderson Strathern LLP; James Chalmers, Professor of Law, University of Glasgow; Vini Cowden, senior associate, CMS Cameron McKenna; Ian Burke, partner of Borders practice Bannerman Burke Taits; Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland; John McKinlay, partner and UK head of intellectual property and technology, DLA Piper; Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Amanda Millar, partner, McCash & Hunter, Perth; Arezo Darvishzadeh, senior solicitor, Ethnic Minorities Law Centre; and Kenny Robertson, head of Services, Legal, RBS.

A trailer for the campaign is available on YouTube.


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