The mentoring scheme will support 40 Black, Asian and minority ethnic university students in the UK who wish to pursue a career in law. The students, who have been selected by Aspiring Solicitors, will be mentored by lawyers from bp and Norton Rose Fulbright through September to November 2021. With group mentoring and bespoke workshops the scheme aims to help the students develop commercial knowledge and confidence. In addition, Aspiring Solicitors will offer participants vacation scheme and training contract application support.
Aspiring Solicitors, set up by former Norton Rose Fulbright associate Chris White in 2013, works with law firms and legal teams to provide coaching, mentoring, and wider employability assistance for aspiring solicitors from under-represented groups in order to enhance diversity and inclusion within the legal profession.
Chris White of Aspiring Solicitors commented: “We are delighted to be working with Norton Rose Fulbright and bp on this scheme. It is an opportunity for both mentors and mentees to develop awareness and understanding of differences essential to create a positive and effective legal profession.”
Eric Nitcher, executive vice president legal, bp commented: “This mentoring scheme reflects bp’s commitment to increasing diversity in the workplace, across our supply chain and the legal profession more broadly. We are excited to offer this opportunity and look forward to supporting the mentees as they take further steps towards a future in law.”
Louise Higginbottom, chief risk and regulatory officer, Europe, Middle East and Asia and bp relationship partner, Norton Rose Fulbright commented: “Increasing access to careers in law is a priority for our firm and we want to ensure we improve diversity and inclusion in our own business. We’re delighted that bp asked us to collaborate on the Aspiring Solicitors mentoring scheme and we look forward to supporting the students with their career aspirations.”
bp’s purpose is to reimagine energy for people and our planet. It has set out an ambition to be a net zero company by 2050, or sooner and help the world get to net zero, and a strategy for delivering on that ambition. One of twenty aims supporting bp’s ambition is greater diversity, equity & inclusion for bp’s workforce and customers, and to increase supplier diversity spend to $1 billion. In 2020, bp set out 13 commitments as part of its UK framework for action on racial injustice. This includes aspirational goals for ethnic minority representation across bp’s UK business by 2025: (a) increase senior leadership representation from 10.2% to 15% (b) increase representation from 17.5% to 25% across levels up to and including first level leaders (c) a 20% or greater uplift in Black representation across all levels.
bp is also committed to provide focused development and progression interventions to support career progress for UK Black employees and other underrepresented ethnic minorities. In 2020, bp published its first diversity, equity and inclusion report, including its ambition for bp to reflect the world around us and be the go-to Integrated Energy Company for the best and brightest talent the world has to offer. bp is signatory of the Change The Race Ratio campaign to improve racial and ethnic diversity in UK boardrooms. bp was recognized for its diversity policies and practices by more than 20 organizations during 2020.
For more information visit bp.com
About Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright strives to create a diverse and inclusive environment where its people can bring their whole selves to work, have a sense of belonging, and realise their full career potential. In October 2020, Norton Rose Fulbright announced ethnicity targets for partners and staff as part of its renewed race and ethnicity strategy. By 2025, the firm aims for 15% of partners and 25% of employees to be of Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. It remains committed to its annual graduate recruitment target of 25% BAME trainees, including 10% black trainees. Over the past 10 years, Norton Rose Fulbright has also committed to a number of social mobility and diversity initiatives, including working with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), Rare Recruitment, the Sutton Trust Pathways to Law initiative and Aspiring Solicitors.
The firm is a signatory of the RARE Race Fairness Commitment, and the Social Mobility Pledge, and is a founding member of PRIME, an alliance of law firms in the UK committed to improving access to the legal profession. In 2020, the firm launched its Advance network whose aims include helping the firm widen access to more socio-economically diverse talent in the UK. In May the firm launched its UK apprenticeship programme.
For more information visit nortonrosefulbright.com