Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where all of our colleagues and their contributions and perspectives are valued and respected.
Our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) activities are focused on six core areas:
Matheson is a founding member of the disAbility Legal Network, which seeks to promote equal opportunities for people with disabilities within the legal sector. In 2022, we hosted 'Legal Minds: Neurodiversity in the Legal Sector', which explored the strengths neurodivergent people bring to the workplace and the challenges still facing many neurodivergent people in the legal sector.
In 2022, Matheson hosted As I Am - Ireland’s National Autism Charity – as they discussed 'Hidden Disabilities and Autism in the Workplace'. To bring the discussion to life, we were delighted that one of our colleagues volunteered to discuss their own Autism diagnosis.
In 2022, Matheson's annual D&I Conference, delivered in partnership with Trinity College Dublin, explored 'D&I at a Time of Uncertainty', where insights were provided by industry experts and Matheson leaders about how organisations can continue to drive diversity and inclusion - with a particular focus on disability - in the workplace at a time of continued global uncertainty.
In 2023, we welcomed Jack Kavanagh, a pharmacist, public speaker, and disability advocate to the firm to share his lived experience of adapting to an acquired disability. Jack spoke about energy management; personal and team development; wellbeing practices; and skills for managing stress, developing focus and enabling resilience.
In 2023, we were delighted to welcome Dr Sinead Kane to one of our Knowledge Insight sessions. Sinead is a PhD doctorate, double Guinness World Record holder, visually-impaired athlete and qualified solicitor and will share her remarkable professional and personal journey.
Multiculturalism and Social Mobility
Improving access for social mobility students into the legal profession through schools and student outreach is key priority for Matheson.
The Cara Scholarship is awarded annually and is open to second-year undergraduate students in TCD, including students on the Higher Education Access Route or the Disability Access Route to Education schemes, mature students and students who face barriers in third level education.
University Access Programmes – We work with a number of third level access programmes to support people from geographic locations that are linked with low progression rates to reach their full potential in pursing higher education. These include the Trinity Access Programme and the DCU Access Programme.
Matheson's Transition Year Programme provides students with a practical insight into corporate life through a series of workshops, presentations, and challenges, with a particular focus on developing their skillsets. Supported by our colleagues from different departments across the firm, students received first-hand experience of life at Matheson and a career in the legal profession.
The Matheson Diversity in Law Newman Fellowship in partnership with University College Dublin aims to promote greater diversity within the legal profession. Launched in May 2023, the fellowship will contribute to building research-based evidence in the field of access to legal education for under-represented groups, as well as identifying hurdles experienced by those groups to access and remain in the legal profession.
Achieving greater representation of women in the partnership and better gender balance in leadership roles across the firm is a strategic priority. As a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter, Matheson is committed to setting targets for increased female representation to achieve better gender balance and a more inclusive working environment.
We were the first organisation in Ireland to receive the Investors in Diversity Gold Standard Award for our D&I initiatives and in March 2022, became the first organisation in Ireland to achieve re-accreditation. Our sector leading approach to diversity and inclusion saw us named ‘Diversity and Inclusion Law Firm of the Year’ for the second year running at the Irish Law Awards 2022. In 2023, Matheson’s female / male partner gender ratio was ranked as the most diverse in Ireland and the third most gender diverse in Europe.
To mark International Women's Day 2022, we were honoured to be joined by Ireland's Minister for Justice, Ms Helen McEntee TD, and Ms Sarah Benson, CEO of Women's Aid, for an insightful panel discussion led by Matheson partner, Tara Doyle. Our speakers discussed breaking the bias in the workplace, the link between gender bias and gender-based violence, and how we can all be allies who champion change.
To celebrate International Women's Day 2023, colleagues from across our offices came together for a virtual event exploring equality and its impact. We were honoured to have Nana Darko, Director and Legal Counsel, BlackRock, join the Head of Matheson's London office, Sharon Daly, for an insightful discussion based on the theme. #EmbraceEquity. Read more about the event here.
We provide an open work environment where we encourage a sense of belonging for all of our colleagues.
Each year our LGBTQ+ network, Matheson Together, organises a series of events to celebrate Pride Month. Now an annual fixture in the Matheson calendar, our Pride Table Quiz grows more popular each year. While the quiz is fun, it also helps inform our colleagues about the importance of diversity of identity and helps us to promote an inclusive environment for all employees regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. In 2023, over 120 people attended the quiz, which was hosted by Davina Devine.
Matheson is a founding member of the OUTLaw Network and in both 2022 and 2023, we were proud to march under the OUTLaw banner in the Dublin Pride Parade, with people from all across the legal sector.
In 2022, Matheson, in collaboration with the OUTLaw Network, welcomed guests both virtually and in-person to our Dublin office, where our panellists (Ailbhe Smyth, activist and academic; Jeanne McDonagh, CEO of Open Doors Initiative; and Paddy Smyth (television personality and activist) discussed the topic of intersectionality and allyship across the LGBTQ+ community. Improving access for social mobility students into the legal profession through schools and student outreach is key priority for Matheson.
Families and Working Parents
We are proud to support families in a multitude of ways, including Matheson Agile (our flexible working programme), hybrid working, and our coaching and buddy programmes for new parents.
We mark the United Nations International Day of Families annually on 15 May, which aims to raise awareness of issues faced by families worldwide. In 2022, we held an internal panel discussion where we discussed Irish families in their various forms - what they have in common and the challenges which they can face. In 2023, our Family and Working Parents / Guardians Committee hosted a coffee morning where parents and guardians from across the firm came together to discuss various elements of being working parents or guardians. Following on from this, these coffee mornings are now held on a monthly basis as a way for parents / guardians to connect.
Today, more generations than ever before are working side by side in the workplace. With this in mind, Matheson established an 'Intergenerational' committee to enhance generational awareness across the business and to challenge generational stereotypes. A key aspect of our Intergenerational committee is to build on our culture of mentoring, with a focus on cross generational mentoring programmes.
In 2022, we focused on multigenerational workplaces as part of our 'D&I at a Time of Uncertainty: Matheson and Trinity College Dublin's Diversity and Inclusion Conference', held in Trinity College Dublin, where we heard from speakers across a number of organisations and sectors, including HubSpot, AIB, Citi, Northern Trust Ireland, Clifford Chance, Trinity College Dublin and Matheson.
Our panel discussion, 'Multi-generational workplaces: challenges and opportunities', explored the challenges and opportunities organisations face as more generations than ever before work side by side.
Pictured at Trinity College Dublin (L-R): Tara Doyle, partner, Matheson; Michael Jackson, Managing Partner, Matheson; and Daragh Bogan, Impactful Business Programme Manager, Matheson.
Special Olympics World Games 2023
Matheson was delighted to partner with Special Olympics Ireland to support the Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin - the largest inclusive sporting event in the world and one which embodies our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Congratulations to our colleague, John Keating, who won a silver medal at the World Games in the level 5 individual 18 hole golf event. Watch John receive his medal, and hear from John and our colleagues across the firm, in this video.