By Karen Peattie

LEGAL firm Morton Fraser has become only the sixth business out of more than 350,000 headquartered in Scotland to join the influential 30% Club which sets targets for gender representation at board and executive committee level among the FTSE 350.

One of Scotland’s largest independent law firms with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Morton Fraser’s own board is currently 60 per cent female while 52% of senior management roles are held by women. However, the firm says it has “put diversity and inclusion at the heart of its growth strategy and is committed to encouraging greater diversity in the Scottish business community”.

Maggie Moodie, chairman of Morton Fraser, said: “The 30% Club actively lobbies for improvements in female representation at executive level, which is in keeping with our own values. We passionately believe in encouraging a diverse set of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds in our firm – we are on our own journey in that respect.”

She added that law firms “have a long way to go before they can call themselves truly diverse”. Ms Moodie said: “While we may have outstanding female leadership in our firm, we cannot ignore the wider challenge our sector faces to encourage and retain members of BAME communities in the industry.

“It was important to us that The 30% Club recently updated its targets to include people of colour.”

The 30% Club, which asks members to embrace fully inclusive cultures considering ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and beyond, is a global campaign for greater female representation on company boards. Founded in 2010 by former City financier Dame Helena Morrisey, it now has “chapters” in 14 countries/regions around the world.

Morton Fraser, which employs over 260 people and increased revenues by 9% year-on-year, topping the £20 million threshold for annual billings in 2019/20, will now embark on a series of initiatives designed to encourage wider adoption of The 30% Club principles across Scotland.

Its campaign manager Francoise Higson said: “Creating an inclusive culture and realising the potential of a diverse workforce is a continuous journey and we’re delighted to have CEO Chris Harte and chair Maggie Moodie championing that from the very top.”

According to club, the proportion of women in board positions in the FTSE 350 has increased from 9.5% in 2010 to 32%.