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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy (“DE&I”)

We are dedicated to fostering a workplace culture and atmosphere centered on the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

1. Introduction and Background
 

1.1 BTG Advaya (“Firm”, “We”, “Us” or “Our”) is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

1.2 We embrace and encourage differences at the workplace in age, religion, geography, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, physical and mental ability,  sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and other characteristics that make our staff unique.

1.3 This policy describes our commitment and strategy for DE&I and should also be read along with the Firm’s Equal Opportunity Policy. 

1.4 This policy is reviewed annually.

2. Our commitments    
 

2.1 We know that diversity will take different forms. That's why our commitments will drive our actions we know will get us closer to our collective goals. Our commitments are:   

2.1.1. Equality principle: We will pursue gender equality in all we do, including promotions, recruitment and succession planning, and take concrete steps to make sure more of our women progress into partnership and leadership roles. 

2.1.2. Disrupting bias: Bias exists, but that doesn't mean we can't disrupt it. That's why we continue to grow our awareness and understanding of bias, how it affects our decisions and what we can do to avoid it.    

2.1.3. Diverse talent: We will build a workforce as diverse as our societies, attracting, recruiting and developing the diverse talent our business needs. We'll do that by engaging with social mobility and cultural diversity projects in our communities.

2.1.4. Leadership commitment: We know the importance of leadership in delivering change. Our partnership is fully invested in our program and have committed to putting in place the structures that will allow everybody to achieve their true potential regardless of their background.

3. Scope of Policy
 

3.1. The Firm’s diversity initiatives are applicable to our practices and policies on recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, professional development and training, promotions, transfers, social and recreational programs and the ongoing development of a work environment built on the premise of diversity and equity that encourages and enforces:

3.1.1. A diverse and inclusive workplace.

3.1.2. Respectful communication and cooperation between all staff.

3.1.3. Teamwork and permitting the representation of all groups and staff perspectives. 

3.1.4. Work/life balance through flexible work schedules to accommodate staff’s varying needs.

4. Key focus areas for D&I at the Firm
 

4.1. Gender diversity and parity.

4.2. Encouraging LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

4.3. Social diversity including related to ethnicity and religion.

4.4. Physical diversity including related mental health, physicality, and age.

5. Key process steps to achieve D&I at the Firm
 

5.1. Encourage inclusiveness and diversity right from recruitment and selection.

5.2. Ensure the D&I commitments of the Firm are always adhered to.

5.3. Adhering to the guidance in Clause 6 below.

5.4. Reporting of issues or concerns immediately to the Firm’s HR Team at hr@btgadvaya.com.

 

6. Guidance for staff on achieving D&I at the Firm
 

6.1. Recruitment and selection

While recruiting or selecting for positions, whether internally or externally, the Firm will:

assess individuals according to their personal capability to carry out the job description;

not make any assumptions that only certain types of person will be able to perform certain types of work;

will not overstate the required level of skills, knowledge or qualifications;

avoid specifying an age requirement and any gender specification;

avoid recruiting only internally or by word of mouth unless there is a good reason for doing so—advertising more broadly may help increase applications from a more diverse pool of talent;

ensure selection tests relate specifically to the job requirements and measure the person’s actual or inherent ability to do or train for the work;

review selection tests regularly to ensure they remain relevant and free from any unjustifiable bias, either in content or in scoring mechanism;

keep written records of interviews and reasons for appointment and non-appointment, in accordance with the Firm’s policies;

ensure that questions at interview relate to the requirements of the job; and

ensure that decisions regarding the method of recruitment or selection or who is recruited or selected would only be made by a person who has read and understood this policy.

 

6.2. Promotions and training

The Firm will:

examine assessment criteria and appraisal schemes carefully to ensure that they are not discriminatory, whether directly or indirectly;

regularly monitor promotion and career development patterns to ensure that access to promotion, training and career development opportunities is not denied to particular groups or types of persons; and

if any provision, criterion or practice relating to promotion, appraisal, transfer or training puts disabled workers at a substantial disadvantage for a reason connected with their disability, ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to eliminate or, if that is not reasonably practicable, reduce the disadvantage. For example, this could be making training available for a disabled worker in a different way, in a different location or at a different time.

 

6.3. Terms of engagement, benefits and facilities 

The Firm will:

review regularly the terms of engagement, benefits and facilities available to all staff to ensure that they are provided in a way which is free from unlawful discrimination.

examine carefully and monitor regularly pay and bonus criteria, policies and practices and, if it appears that any group of people are disadvantaged by them, check them to make sure that this is not due to any hidden or indirect discrimination.

6.4. Grievances

Any person who, in good faith, bring a grievance (or assist another to do so) either under this policy or otherwise in relation to an equality or equal opportunities matter will not be disciplined, dismissed or otherwise suffer any adverse treatment for having done so.

 

6.5. Considerations relating to disability

Disabled people, including job applicants and personnel, should be able to participate in all of the Firm’s activities fully, on an equal basis with people who are not disabled.

 

Due to the wide variety of potential disabilities, and the likelihood of a disability affecting different people in different ways, the Firm does not prescribe rigid rules on how issues concerning disabled people should be dealt with. What is essential is that all partners, supervisors and HR team take all reasonably practical steps to ensure that disabled people are not less favourably treated or disadvantaged by comparison to people who are not disabled in relation to their work, working environment, or by any provision, criterion or practice used by the Firm. 

The Firm is particularly concerned that disabled workers are treated equally in the following areas:

recruitment and selection;

promotion and training; and

terms of employment, benefits and facilities.

 

7. Statistics on D&I for 2023
 

7.1. Gender Equality and Equity:

Higher representation of women at leadership level – We are proud to say that fifty percent (50%) of the lawyers in our firm are women and we maintain pay parity at all levels. However, our focus is on improving gender diversity at all levels within the firm; in particular, increasing female representation at leadership roles. 

 

7.2. Staff Benefits:

Help define career paths for parents coming back from family leave – We support employees with caring responsibilities and are proud to provide a cultural of flexible working and have policies in place to enable this, including work from home policy, maternity leave policy with enhanced leaves for adopting and commissioning mothers.

 

8. D&I Initiatives for 2023
 

8.1. Socioeconomic - Regional Hiring:

This year the Firm launched training programs for law students from geographically & economically disadvantaged parts of India. The aim of these training programs is to offer these law students an opportunity to jump start their career by gaining practical experience of providing support on client project related matters and other research-based assignments. This in turn increases their access to better jobs and connecting them to the “economic hubs” in India.

 

8.2. Mind and Body - Differently abled and LGBTQ+:

We value differences and build on the excellence of our staff. That's why our commitment to excellence is also a commitment to diversity and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from and provide special consideration to individuals from marginalized sections, groups or communities, persons from LGBTQ+ community, individuals who are differently abled and people living with HIV.

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