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Osborne Clarke recognised by diversity group Stepping Up

10 October 2022
The Business Magazine article image for: Osborne Clarke recognised by diversity group Stepping Up

A Bristol-based partner at international legal practice Osborne Clarke has received a Stepping Up Award for Outstanding Contribution to diversity.

Julian Hemming was presented with the award by Stepping Up’s programme director, Christine Bamford, at the firm’s Temple Back office.

Stepping Up aims to unlock potential and develop talent while ensuring a fair representation of Black, Asian, ethnic minority, disabled people and women in positions of leadership.

It has supported more than 300 diverse leaders who have graduated or are due to graduate and 170 have secured new roles or set up their own businesses.

Since then, over 100 mentors from across all sectors have given their time to support Stepping Up participants from Bristol as well as Gloucester, Gloucestershire and Bath.

Julian Hemming has supported the programme as a mentor since its inception in 2018.

He said: “I am humbled to be recognised for my contribution to diversity in the community with this award. It has been a pleasure to be involved and witness the impact of Stepping Up over the past years as we strive to tackle inequality in the South West region.

“At Osborne Clarke, diversity and inclusion are integral to our business strategy. We understand the importance of promoting equality and are committed to developing a culture where all our people feel respected, treated fairly and are able to give their best.”

Christine Bamford added: “Julian has been an inclusion ally and ambassador for the Stepping Up diversity leadership programme – transforming the lives of so many.

“His commitment to mentoring embraced empathy and empowerment, which inspired his mentees to ‘step up’. We truly could not have launched Stepping Up without Julian’s personal support.”

Earlier this year Osborne Clarke was recognised as a diversity champion employer in Bristol City Council’s Stepping Up Excellence Awards.

In addition to the support the firm provides externally, it is also has a number of learning and development programmes which are available for all its people.

Most recently it launched the OC Career Speaker Series, a unique and ambitious personal development and career growth initiative supporting areas including building personal brand, empowering beliefs and growing presence.

Alongside the firmwide sessions, a successful pilot programme was targeted at gender, ethnicity and business services teams that provided additional coaching and support.

The firm also has an established lawyer development programme to support its fee earners at key legal career milestones; one-to-one coaching focused on developing potential, transitioning to new roles and returning to work following parental or sabbatical leave; and a mentoring programme that pairs colleagues together to help develop ability, skills and confidence.

Pictured: Christine Bamford, Jennifer Gilbert, inclusion and CSR administrator at Osborne Clarke, and Julian Hemming

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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