At Arthur Cox, CSR seems to be very important. Can you tell us a bit about how diversity and inclusion fits in with this and why it is a priority for Arthur Cox?
Corporate Social Responsibility has always been a longstanding pillar at Arthur Cox. Last year we took the decision to evolve our CSR programme into something more because we wanted to integrate social and environmental concerns into our decision-making and our mainstream operations. We strive to continue to take responsibility for our impact on society and to integrate sustainable and responsible business practices across our business. Being a sustainable business is one of the key pillars of Arthur Cox’s business strategy. We have just announced our first Sustainable Business Impact Report and we will continue to report on the impact of our activities.
As a firm we have always placed a lot of importance on diversity and inclusion. We consider including people from all different backgrounds, an integral part of being a progressive and sustainable business. As a firm, we believe in equal opportunity, regardless of gender, race or background etc. We feel that there is a need for varying perspectives and that the more diverse we are, the more creative ideas and attitudes we bring to the table.
What inspired and continues to inspire Arthur Cox to support DCU and the Access to the Workplace Programme?
Working with DCU was an easy decision for Arthur Cox as we see ourselves as a good match in terms of innovation and progressiveness. These are values which we rate very highly here at Arthur Cox and appreciate that DCU holds them in the same esteem. DCU has always pushed the boundaries and led the way when it comes to communications, tech and sciences and this is something we felt we could really get behind.
When it came to supporting the DCU Access to the Workplace Programme, it was a no brainer for us. We saw it as a great opportunity to have someone join us who would bring fresh eyes and new ideas to the organisation. Having a student coming from a different background meant they had different experiences and would help to broaden the way we see things here. We also saw taking part in the programme as a way to give back and to give a student the opportunity to work with us, who may not have had the chance otherwise.
For our junior team members at Arthur Cox, having a student join the team through the internship, was a fantastic opportunity for them to gain some skills in mentoring and supervision. Through taking part in Access to the Workplace, staff got the opportunity to manage someone else’s time as well as their own. It has been a valuable experience for staff in this regard, who got the chance to develop and hone their management skills and understanding.
How did the Access to the Workplace placement go this year?
The Access to the Workplace placement this year went really well. We were very lucky to have a brilliant student, Niamh, placed with us, who was a pleasure to work with. While we initially had some logistics to figure out between working in the office and working from home, we got Niamh set up and doing some great pieces of professional work for us. Having a student coming from tech also helped us to see things from that point of view. It was great to have her in the office at times, as she got the opportunity to watch and observe how we work here. We plan to keep in touch going forward and to hopefully have Niamh back to the office in the future to see what it is like at full capacity.
How has Arthur Cox benefited from having a student working with them?
We have really benefited from taking part in the DCU Access to the Workplace Programme. It has been a great two-way opportunity, a chance for the student to gain professional work experience and a way for Arthur Cox to gain an intern with a new perspective and fresh eyes, when it comes to our working procedures and culture. We had a great addition to our team for the period of the internship and our junior members will take the mentoring and management experience forward with them also. We feel that it has been very worthwhile giving this opportunity to a student who may not have secured placement with us without the Access to the Workplace programme. Being a part of the DCU mission to transform lives and societies has been a great experience for us at Arthur Cox.