22 February 2022 News
Corporate law firm A&L Goodbody (ALG) has become the first business in Northern Ireland to announce a partnership with Platform55 – the organisation focused on creating more inclusive workplaces for parents.
Through the partnership, Platform55 will offer a programme of live workshops, group coaching and expert sessions to ALG’s Belfast office – including bespoke management training sessions for the firm’s leadership team and tailored sessions for working parents, delivered by experienced facilitators both on site and virtually.
ALG will also benefit from a wealth of resources, how-to guides and checklists for managers and employees through Platform55’s online membership platform.
Gregory Martin, diversity partner at ALG’s Belfast office, explained that the partnership will form a key strand of the firm’s commitment to being an employer of choice for working parents.
“This new partnership with Platform55 is a further demonstration of ALG’s drive to create a diverse and inclusive workplace for our current and prospective employees.
“With research by Platform55 showing that an average of 55% of the UK workforce are parents at any given time, we see this as an important opportunity to provide support around some of the key challenges facing any working parent today – be it balancing the demands of work and home, or returning to work after parenting leave, for example.”
Platform55’s research also reveals that 62% of managers don’t feel equipped to manage modern parenting conversations – something which the organisation addresses through tailored training for managers.
“We are committed to embedding a culture where all working parents are supported and encouraged to succeed in their careers in parallel with managing family life,” continued Mr Martin.
“Our partnership with Platform55 will see our 18 partners in Belfast trained in providing ongoing support to employees who are parents – including before, during and after parental leave – as well as having empathetic conversations around sensitive matters such as miscarriage, fertility and other family matters.”
Platform 55 Co-Founder Michelle O’Keeffe commented: “As Platform55 expands internationally we are delighted to announce A&L Goodbody as our first partner in Northern Ireland. From the outset we’ve been impressed with ALG’s commitment to creating an inclusive culture for parents right from the very top.
“We are excited to begin this partnership with ALG employees – supporting them at every stage of their parenting journey. Navigating the tricky tightrope of balancing work and home isn’t always easy, but with the right support we believe individuals can have both a fulfilling family life and career.”
ALG has progressed its overall diversity agenda through an intensive programme in recent years, ensuring that its policies and practices match its commitment to equality and inclusion. Alongside gender diversity, this has included a focus on other areas of diversity, such as LGBTQ+, disability, ethnicity and social mobility.
In 2021, the firm was awarded the Silver Diversity Mark by Diversity Mark NI in recognition of its commitment to a wide-ranging inclusion agenda – commended for being “both meaningful and responsive” to the needs of its employees.
ALG also became the first legal firm in Northern Ireland to support an innovative scheme aimed at supporting social mobility and increasing diversity in the legal profession. Partnering with Aspiring Solicitors, the firm will deliver a mentoring scheme throughout 2022 aimed at developing participants’ confidence, awareness and understanding of what is required to become a lawyer in NI.
Gregory Martin, diversity partner at ALG’s Belfast office