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Published: 26 Aug 2016

Sacker & Partners LLP, Joint Winner 2016, The Cityparents Best for all stages of Motherhood Award

Key features

  • Mothers benefit from a personal one to one mentoring scheme where they are carefully matched with their mentor to ensure they get the best support.
  • Senior grade gender balance is impressive with 60 per cent of partners being female and the majority of these are mothers.
  • Flexible working is widespread, including at senior levels. Measures are put in place to ensure flexible working does not damage career development.
  • One hundred per cent of lawyers who have taken maternity leave in the last five years have returned to work.

Sackers is competing well in the legal sector with its provision for mothers and its programme is impressive. Lawyers have access to maternity coaching and the firm has an internal maternity mentoring system to supplement the coaching sessions. The mentoring system offers bespoke support from mothers who have experienced the transition to working parent themselves and understand the culture at Sackers. Maternity mentors are all operating at partner level within the business. The mentors are volunteers who were given orientation at the start of the programme on what Sackers were seeking to achieve, how it would work, and what their role was. They were also provided with a resource pack to help them and they provide support to each other in doing this important role. Each maternity mentor only has one mentee at a time to ensure they are not overloaded. A matching process ensures that people are allocated a mentor with whom they will ‘gel’ and be able to talk openly about issues.

Sackers offers generous maternity leave and benefits and equality in flexible working. All staff can log in from home.

Sackers puts on webinars for working parents on topics such as choosing childcare and overcoming your working parent guilt. Activities have focused on early years support since the majority of staff have younger children, but Sackers has also provided support for those with older children, such as webinars on keeping your children safe on the Internet and choosing secondary schools.

Sackers’ grade gender balance really highlights how impressive their approach to supporting mothers is – 60 per cent of Sackers’ partners are female and the majority are working parents. The firm’s deputy managing partner is a working mother working part-time hours. Two other members of the managing group (one male and one female) have flexible working arrangements in place and overall, 32 per cent of staff work flexibly, with 40 per cent of partners, 30 per cent of associates and 29 per cent of business services staff in a flexible working arrangement.

Key to flexible working take up is that it does not damage career development. Sackers promotes individuals based upon merit and this includes staff working flexibly. For example, six female lawyers working flexibly have been promoted in the last five years.

The firm aims to retain the majority of staff following maternity leave. By offering flexible working and achievable career progression, mothers choose to return to Sackers following maternity leave.  One hundred per cent of lawyers at Sackers who have been on maternity leave in the last five years have returned to work.