Starting Out sponsor: life at BLP

Daisy Reeves, Partner and Global LGBT* Champion

blp-logo‘I am a partner at international law firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP). I am also Global LGBT* Champion across our numerous overseas offices. I have been ‘out’ for over 21 years, including during my time at BLP.

At BLP we are proud of our market-leading international legal work, representing many of the globe’s ‘blue chip’ corporates and financial institutions. We are also immensely proud of our culture of inclusivity, one of our core values. It is key to us that we create an environment where our people, at all levels, can be authentic. Being able to be openly LGBT* is, of course, fundamental to this principle.

blp-photoWe visibly demonstrate our support to the LGBT* community, both internally and externally, in a number of ways. This year we marked Pride by, as well as marching, flying the rainbow flag, one of the first law firms in the City to do so. We have a very strong LGBT* network and allies network, and took the opportunity to host a celebratory Pride BBQ, enabling our allies to gain a better understanding of what being LGBT* in the workplace can mean and the challenges faced by the community more generally.

The BLP LGBT* network has also been instrumental in supporting those starting out and looking to enter the workplace. In 2010 we helped set up ‘DiversCity’, aimed at those LGBT* entrants looking for a career in law in the City. This is now in its sixth year, participated by over 15 firms and has been attended by over 400 LGBT* students.

This year BLP spearheaded ‘AuthentiCity’, another LGBT* starting out event. Here we partnered with JP Morgan, KPMG, M&G, JLL and Aviva to show LGBT* graduates that being LGBT* is embraced by the City in all sector areas. As one of our LGBT* trainees, Jamie Sherman, commented: “Research suggests that something like one in four people go back into the closet when they start in the workplace. What we’re trying to do here at BLP is change that.”

We are one firm at BLP, where everyone’s contribution is valued; we celebrate difference in our teams. Seeing the rainbow flag fly from our roof was a moment I will never forget – and that symbolises, for me, why it’s so important to work somewhere that accepts and appreciates you for who you are while, at the same time, being a leader in its industry, for BLP, international law.

Come and see for yourselves and be part of our team!’