Firms can now report their workforce diversity data, including sexual orientation, ethnicity, age and gender, through a new online facility on mySRA, the Solicitors Regulation Authority announced today.

Collection of this data is a Legal Services Board requirement to promote transparency and diversity in the legal services market, the SRA said. Collection also helps firms demonstrate how they are meeting the requirements of principle 9 of the Code of Conduct, which requires solicitors to ‘run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity’.

This is the second year the data has been collected - the results for the 2012 exercise can be found on the SRA website.

SRA chief executive Antony Townsend said: ‘Collecting information about the diversity of staff helps us to build a picture of the diversity of solicitors and others employed in legal services. We encourage firms to explain to their staff why the data is being collected and what will happen to it. Firms themselves can use the data to review their compliance with principle 9.’

This week, the SRA will be contacting firms to remind them of the arrangements they need to make to collect diversity data on their firm's workforce profile, report their aggregated data to the SRA using the new online reporting facility, and publish a summary of the data collected.

A number of third party tools are available to help firms collect the required diversity data, including a free online tool by the Law Society.

The SRA will publish the aggregated data of the diversity data collection early next year.