Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Appleyard Lees is a fair and equal firm. We believe in recruiting individuals based on merit and talent, and we strive to treat all people equally and fairly. Our mantra is to recruit and retain the best people and we achieve this, at least in part, by our inclusive and open culture.  

To us, diversity is not just a box-ticking exercise, it is a core part of our firm’s values. Diversity of people means diversity of ideas and perspectives, and these allow us to be more creative and flexible as a business. This benefits our people and our clients too – we have different qualification and career progression options for our staff, and we adapt our advice and services to best match our clients’ needs.  

Making sure that everyone at Appleyard Lees feels included and valued in the firm is imperative to us, and the drastic changes in working environments that the global pandemic has thrown at us makes this more important than ever. We have a number of initiatives around inclusion, because we want all our staff, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, background or sexual orientation to feel that they belong and can be themselves at work.  

We run mental health seminars, and through our mental health first aiders frequently share tips on improving mental health and wellbeing. We encourage our staff to step away from their desks at lunchtime and have a proper break, which is particularly important while we are working from home, and promotes a real worklife balance. We also do some fun things toosuch as online yoga, Chess Club, Work Out Thursdays and Appleyard Lees Coffee Roulette.  

We are continually looking at ways we can become a more diverse firm and a more inclusive workplace, whether that be reviewing our approach to recruitment or looking at ways we can support initiatives that encourage underrepresented groups to study STEM subjects.  

Here are some of the things we are already doing to improve D&I at Appleyard Lees: 

 

 

  • David Clark (Managing Partner) and Yvonne Sanderson (HR Director) have signed Senior Leaders’ Pledges. David’s Pledge is here, Yvonne’s Pledge is here.

 

 

 

 

  • Senior associate Parminder Lally jointly led a team to create and launch IP Inclusive’s Careers in Ideas initiative, an outreach campaign aimed at raising awareness of IP-related careers in order to widen the pool of people from which the IP profession recruits. She also features in IP Inclusive’s “Ask me Anything” video series that provides answers to questions many people want to ask but are afraid to do so in case it causes offence, and the series of talks on “Allies and Intersectionality”. 

 

  • We have an internal D&I focus group that includes attorneys, trainees and human resources professionals, which is tasked to collate and present ideas for improving D&I. 

 

  • We support the AIPLA’s Women in IP group and host events as part of their annual global networking event. 

 

 

  • We are looking at how we can use more gender-neutral and inclusive language in our internal and external communications. 

 

  • We are undertaking a review of all of our HR policies and internal processes with diversity, equality and inclusion in mind.