Our 2019 diversity report

Totum’s latest diversity report (click here to view the full PDF) shows our sustained commitment to building recruitment practices that promote diversity and inclusion. They demonstrate that we have strong foundations in place to deliver future improvements in key areas. This report details diversity data, based on information given by candidates who signed up with Totum from January to December 2018, on areas including ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

Gender equality

Overall, we have been able to maintain the positive trend shown in our 2017 statistics. We continue to enjoy a particularly even balance of male to female candidates, if not slightly weighted towards women. Over the whole year, we had 65% female candidates to 33% male (2% preferred not to say). However, figures were skewed somewhat by a campaign in the first quarter of the year, which resulted in a particularly high spike of female candidates signing up during this time. Figures for the rest of the year were far closer to 2017 findings with just a slightly higher proportion of women to men. We are delighted that we are maintaining such an even gender balance and at all levels of seniority. At leadership levels, for instance, we didn’t just shortlist an equal number of female candidates in 2018, but we also hit a 50/50 male/female ratio at placement.


In both 2017 and 2018, a quarter of our candidates registered as Asian/Asian British, Black/Black British, or mixed/multiple ethnic groups. It is good to see that we have been able to deliver a sustained result here, which also compares favourably to UK-wide statistics on the BAME population. But given that London’s BAME population was 40% according to the 2011 census, we know there is more work to be done here. We will continue to work hand in hand with our law firm partners to demonstrate that the legal profession welcomes talent from all backgrounds and can support the development of minority communities.

Age groups

The age range of our candidates was again fairly broad – and in line with figures recorded in 2017. Leading the way are candidates aged between 25 and 44 (32% aged 24-34, and 31% aged 35-44). But we work with job seekers of all ages. So also registered in 2018 were: 20% candidates aged 45-54, 8% aged 16-24, and 4% aged 55 to 64 (5% preferred not to say). We are delighted to be able to support candidates throughout their working lives, as career expectations and personal pressures / lifestyle needs change.

Sexual orientation

Our figures for sexual orientation in 2018 were exactly the same as 2017: 6% of our candidates identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). This compares favourably with national statistics that show that 2% of the UK population identify as LGB, rising to 2.7 in London and 4% among younger people, aged 16-24. This is an area where the legal profession has been particularly successful in becoming an inclusive workplace for LGBT communities. It is fantastic, for instance, that law firms dominated LGBT rights charity Stonewall’s top-100 LGBT-inclusive employers list for 2019, with 16 law firms listed overall, and Pinsent Masons taking the top spot, followed by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. As recruiters, we will continue to communicate to candidates and prospective candidates the great strides that the profession has made here.


One area where we know we still need to improve is in our number of disabled candidates. Our statistics for 2018 show that just 2% of our candidates registered during this period identified as disabled. This is the same as our figures for 2017. Given that an estimated 19% of the working-age UK population are disabled (according to Government data), we are keen to improve this result. We know that there is some great work going on here – an organisation called City Disabilities, for example, was founded by profoundly deaf lawyer Robert Hunter, who for 30 years was a partner in a magic circle firm. He and his team at City Disabilities support disabled professionals in London or those interested in getting into careers in sectors like law, accountancy and banking. In the year ahead, we will work to see how we can partner better with law firms and organisations like this to improve our statistics and support more disabled candidates to register and find great jobs with us.

Diverse future

We are very pleased to see that we have maintained our diversity scores overall – and we are particularly delighted that men and women are making equal use of our recruitment services. This is a statistic we don’t want to change. Across other areas, we will continue to work extremely hard – and in partnership with our law firm clients – to support as diverse a range of talent as possible into the legal profession.