Stronger Together network aims to boost D&I in Leeds professional services sector

Stronger Together network aims to boost D&I in Leeds professional services sector

Leaders from the largest six law firms and the Big Four accountancy firms have joined forces to establish a network to champion racial diversity, inclusion and equality in the professional services sector in the Leeds City Region.  

Called the Stronger Together network, the collective aims to promote and encourage best practice across the professional services sector and show that diverse and inclusive leadership is a true driver for change.

The professional services firms involved in the network are Addleshaw Goddard, Deloitte, DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland, EY, KPMG UK, Pinsent Masons, PwC, Squire Patton Boggs and Walker Morris. 

The network was launched on 11 March at an event at Leeds Civic Hall, hosted by Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council.

Panel members shared their personal stories around how they have overcome challenges in their career journey, while the goals and objectives of the network were also discussed.

Stronger Together began its work with the launch of a cross-firm mentor programme that seeks to share collective experiences of equality and diversity challenges, as well as approaches and ideas on how to overcome potential barriers. 

Recruitment initiatives are also planned to engage with local education, particularly at school leaver level, and showcase the diverse range of career opportunities within professional services.

An events and speaker programme will also be developed to increase awareness of career opportunities in the sector.

Pervinder Kaur, head of the Leeds office at Addleshaw Goddard and co-founder of the network, commented: “Establishing this network is a stepping-stone towards further enhancing an inclusive and diverse culture in our region’s professional services firms.”

“The focus on improving racial diversity, representation, progression and retention requires a different approach and for us all to work together. Having a succinct strategy around how to make racial diversity more effective has huge benefits for individuals, businesses and our collective success as a society.”

Pictured: Arif Ahmad, private business partner at PwC in Leeds; Pervinder Kaur, head of Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds; and Steve Blacker, head of corporate tax at KPMG in Leeds
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Mark Dugdale

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