As a strong proponent of women’s rights, UKCA and Partners (UKCA) has always been keen to promote diversity at its law firm. In fact in December 2020, UKCA formally collaborated with Internship Bank to promote intake of young female students coming from lesser known colleges and financially challenged backgrounds as interns for various departments of its law firm, and took one step closer to promoting gender diversity at the workplace.
Not wanting to stop there, the Delhi based law-firm known, among others, known for its work in the areas of merger and acquisitions, company law litigation, insolvency and bankruptcy Laws, and advocacy services to individuals and business enterprises took a further step in the right direction. In 2021, UKCA (which has been in business for over 25 years) rolled out a policy promoting more diversity and inclusion initiatives at its workplace-specifically related to selection of its interns.
The policy may be a first-of-a-kind initiative by any Indian law firm.
Recognising International Women’s Day and the valuable skill-sets that women bring to a work place, as per UKCA’s one-of-a-kind initiative the firm has decided to only hire female interns for the month of March every year. Similarly, to further the cause of the LGTBQAI+ section, UKCA in recognition of the Pride Month, will in June of every year, give preference to selecting interns from this community. And to top this, in the month of August every year, UKCA will give preference to interns whose parents are either, serving the Indian Armed Forces or were martyred while on duty, or who are engaged in farming.
What is particularly encouraging is that UKCA’s policy leaves no stone unturned to truly bring about diversity in the firm’s intern intake. In recognition of the UN International Day of People with Disability, UKCA has decided that every year in the month of December, it will give preference to students with special needs, when selecting its interns.
Speaking to a representative of Bar and Bench, on the motivation for introducing this unique policy, Manisha Chaudhary, the Managing Partner of UKCA sums it up to say, “I wanted UKCA interns to include students from all background including those that are bullied due to sexual orientations, class differences, disability or gender. ………I wanted young women to hold their own when it came to leadership roles…..”.
While we wish UKCA well in its implementation of the new diversity policy for intern intake, we hope that more Indian law firms introduce such policies and make the future work-place more diverse and inclusive.