Diversity and inclusion are core to CILEx Regulation and are central to the CILEX route into a legal career. CILEX offers a flexible way of gaining legal qualifications making it particularly suitable if you want or need to combine studying with earning or other life circumstances or commitments. They are key drivers for our regulating entities and ABSs because of the opportunities this offers to a wider range of legal professionals.

We offer a constructive approach to regulation, supporting you as a regulated individual or firm to develop your ambitions and progress your career.

We believe that capable individuals should be able to enter and progress in the legal profession in line with their abilities.

Why we collect diversity data

We collect diversity data, so we have evidence to enable us to better understand the diversity composition of our regulated community. Having current information helps us recognise where there may be issues and make regulatory decisions that support your progression and growth.

Why diversity is important

For you

We believe that you should be able to progress your legal career as far as your talents will take you. As your regulator, we need to be able to identify barriers to entry and progression that might hold you back and begin to break them down.

For your business

There is increasing evidence of business advantage to having an inclusive approach to workforce recruitment, promotion and retention. Research has found a statistically significant relationship between a more diverse leadership team and better financial performance. Companies in the top quartile of gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have financial returns that were above their national industry median. Companies in the top quartile of racial/ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median.

Firms that have a good reputation for diversity attract applicants from the broadest talent pool. They are also more likely to attract business from individuals and organisations to whom diversity is important.

For the profession

The legal profession needs to comprise diverse gifted people who can develop careers that reflect their abilities and therefore remain working in the law. Such diverse individuals can reflect and understand the communities they serve and offer a wider range of legal service providers.

A diversity of opinions within the profession can support a strong and effective legal system within which the needs and views of all members of society are listened to and provided for.

For consumers

A diverse legal profession with a wide range of providers offers consumers more choice. It may also increase the likelihood of people accessing legal advice by offering a range of providers who genuinely understand them, their circumstances, and their background. This in turn benefits society.

Who we collect data from

We collect diversity data from both the individuals that we regulate and people who work in firms that we regulate.

How individuals provide diversity data

As a regulated individual you provide your diversity data by using the “membership personal data” form via mycilex which you complete on joining or renewing your membership. You can update this form if anything changes throughout the year.

How people working in firms provide diversity data

We collect diversity data from people working in our regulated firms via a data collection. We will do this in July 2021.

If you run an authorised firm, we will contact you in advance of the collection to ask for email addresses for your employees.

Everyone working in a firm will need to take part in the data collection, including employees who:

  • do not have legal qualifications
  • work in corporate services support roles
  • are on maternity leave or sick leave if they are willing to respond
  • are temporary – for example, consultants or other contracted staff

One of the questions asks respondents to confirm their role within the firm. If employees have more than one role, they should indicate which category best reflects their role.

We will then send a link to the data collection questionnaire to each of your employees.

Whilst the questionnaire is voluntary, we hope you and your employees will feel able to complete as many questions as possible, so we can gain as complete picture as possible.

How we use the data

We anonymise and aggregate data to ensure anonymity before analysing it. We may use it in the following ways:

  • in our regulatory work to help us identify trends and issues
  • to monitor the diversity impact of changes we make
  • to inform our publications
  • to help us meet our public sector equality duty – for example, by monitoring our decision making by protected characteristics
  • to inform research by others
  • to meet reporting requirements to the Legal Services Board and Ministry of Justice

We may publish the data on our website, in reports and to the Legal Services Board provided that in doing so no individual can be identified. If that was possible then the data will not be published.