The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has launched a public consultation on changes to its Equality Code in a bid to ensure regulated practices and individuals are meeting expectations.
From findings of three surveys form its regulated members, The CLC has suggested that its members are being evasive in submitting answers around the diversity issue, by not consulting with their employees.
A spokesperson for the CLC said, “While the response from individuals was good, the preferred method of collecting data from practices was less successful, prompting concerns that some firms may not be seeking the information from their employees.
The number of women and people of colour in senior roles within conveyancing is still “unsatisfactory”, the CLC says.
Despite the many initiatives aimed at lowering barriers to entry and ensuring fair career progression across the entire legal profession, the regulator says change is ‘very slow’ – particularly for those who are vulnerable or have protected characteristics.
There are two main changes proposed which relate to the way the CLC collects data on diversity and complaints of discrimination, victimisation or harassment.
Sheila Kumar (left), chief executive of the CLC, said, “Although the CLC’s non-graduate profession is more closely reflective of society than some other branches of legal sector, the fact that women and people of colour do not progress to senior positions in the proportions they should indicates that more action is needed to make effective and sustainable changes.
“These proposals are intended to deliver, and maintain, positive improvements by giving the CLC more levers to effect change and we are keen to hear what people think.”
The consultation proposes that a new requirement is written into the CCL’s Equality Code, compelling regulated practices to “cooperate with the CLC in the collection and analysis of data about their workforce and owners as may be required by the CLC from time to time.”