Gordons creates D&I leadership role to further progress

Gordons creates D&I leadership role to further progress

Law firm Gordons has appointed commercial litigation solicitor and current Leeds Law Society president Catherine Woodward as its head of diversity and inclusion (D&I).

The role has been created to place an even greater emphasis on the Leeds- and Bradford-based firm’s ongoing commitment to D&I, and to raise awareness of its importance within the legal sector.

Gordons has a long history of championing D&I in the law. In 2011, the firm set out to tackle the lack of social mobility in the legal sector by launching its apprenticeship scheme.

Current Gordons D&I initiatives include focuses on wellbeing and mental health, supporting parents to provide flexibility and enable their career progression, and celebrating women solicitors at the firm.

Woodward’s commitment to D&I in the legal sector saw her, as president of Leeds Law Society, help launch an inaugural D&I conference in September 2020. This was the first conference of its type held by any UK law society and, following its success, is now an annual event. 

Commenting on her appointment, Woodward said: “Gordons is a progressive firm and one which has always naturally embraced diversity and inclusion due to its long-established values and people.”

“As head of diversity and inclusion, I have been empowered to drive forward the firm’s existing initiatives, create new ones and forge partnerships with like-minded individuals and organisations.”

Woodward added: “Our people and our clients are fully supportive of the approach we are taking, and it is the firm’s ambition to be regarded as a diversity and inclusion exemplar in the legal sector and beyond.”

From Wakefield and state-educated, Woodward joined Gordons in 2011 and qualified as a solicitor in the firm’s dispute resolution department in 2015. She has a broad range of experience, including contractual disputes, professional negligence and shareholder disputes. 

Gordons partner and member of the firm’s three-person executive board, Victoria Davey, said: “Catherine is the ideal person to be our of head of diversity and inclusion. She is hugely passionate about it, and this translates directly into her drive and ambition to ensure Gordons leads from the front regarding this very important workplace and societal issue.”

“Everyone at the firm is aligned in wanting to further enhance diversity and inclusion in the legal sector. Catherine will ensure we continue to deliver against that objective for the benefit of our people and clients.”

Pictured: Victoria Davey and Catherine Woodward
Categories: Appointments, News

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Mark Dugdale

Mark is the Editor of Yorkshire Legal. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk