This article first appeared in The Guernsey Press in December 2022.
It is no secret that 2022 was a challenging year. As a community, we are still adjusting to living with Covid but we are also seeing events unfold beyond our shores that have a real and significant impact on many islanders.
For Ogier, as an employer, accepting a "leave your problems at the door" mentality is not an option. Our priority has always been our people, and our continued commitment to putting our people first has never been stronger – neither has our commitment to supporting the communities in which we operate.
A company that values people for who they are as individuals, and fosters an environment where they can bring their whole selves to work, can make a tangible difference to people's health and wellbeing. For Ogier, this means investing in our culture and our people to ensure our workplace is one that engages everyone to thrive.
With 12 offices around the world, we see our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a global imperative. Our strategy is built on honest, often difficult, conversations led from the top but owned by everyone. Crucially, we understand that it is not enough to recognise where improvement is needed, when we have to follow through with action.
In the last year, there have been significant steps taken in support of our D&I strategy. We further expanded the support we provide for new parents by enhancing the maternity, parental, adoption and surrogacy leave benefits across all of our jurisdictions.
We decided to make the voluntary commitment, in 2021, to hold ourselves to account for our gender pay gap and to publish this data annually, becoming the first offshore firm to do so. In 2022, we've seen the percentage of senior roles (partner/director level) held by women increase from 25% to 30%. While the needle has moved, we know there is work still to do. We are also mindful that gender is only one perspective from which the pay gap needs to be approached; and we are working on sensitively collecting information on our other diversity groups and protected classes to be able to include them in our pay gap data.
In addition to creating a culture that celebrates difference, we also want environmental sustainability to be embedded in our business at every level. Again, accountability is key, and we are continuing to work internally and with consultants to get it right.
In Guernsey, our team of sustainability volunteers has continued to raise awareness and offer practical advice on improving our environmental performance supporting our global environmental sustainability policy. Our office refurbishment has also presented its own challenges, including managing the disposal of old office furniture and responsibly minimising any waste sent to landfill.
Donating furniture and equipment to Edible Guernsey, a charity that promotes sustainable and self-sufficient food production and social wellbeing, was one way to minimise our environmental impact. It was also one of many community organisations we've been delighted to support this year, alongside the Guernsey Sea Scouts, training for carers, LGBTQ+ charity Liberate, Food for Families at Les Cotils, Guernsey Welfare Service foodbank, La Societe Guernesiaise , as well as fundraising initiatives including MUG Beard it Up, MUG Bermuda Shorts, 30 Bays of Christmas for Les Bourgs Hospice, and the Sea Donkey Swim.
Despite its challenges, 2022 has been a year of milestones for Ogier. We opened new offices in Beijing and Ireland, our global headcount surpassed 1,000 people, and we now have more than 100 partners across our offices. In Guernsey, we promoted eight in our team, and welcomed three new associates from Ogier's in-house solicitor training programme.
As we look ahead to 2023, there is one thing we can be certain of: Ogier's growth and resilience would not be possible without putting people at the core of our decision-making. This is why we will continue to strive for an inclusive culture that offers equal opportunity for progression, and a positive workplace conducive to health and wellbeing.
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