A critical report on the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s workforce diversity policy has finally seen the light – 18 months after its completion.
The regulator circulated the review, carried out in October 2011, along with a response last week, following threats by the Law Society’s equality and diversity committee to make freedom of information requests.
The review, by Baron Ouseley of Peckham Rye, commends the SRA for setting ‘challenging and ambitious targets’ for improving its diversity profile.
However it says that, apart from gender, the SRA’s hierarchy and top management structures ‘do not reflect diversity characteristics among their members’. Ouseley calls on the organisation to live up to its stated commitment to ‘positive action in its talent management programme’.
In its response to the workforce review, completed in November last year but circulated to members of the equality and diversity committee last week, the SRA acknowledges that progress has been slow, particularly in appointing BME candidates to senior positions.
However, it denied that it had been complacent.
Sue Nelson, chair of the Society’s equality and diversity committee, said the time taken for the SRA to respond to the Ouseley review ‘has been excessive’.