Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Responsibility, Gowling WLG UK
Lorna Gavin helps the firm to be a good neighbour, a good employer, a good corporate citizen and a good partner to our community, clients and suppliers.
As Head of Corporate Responsibility she is tasked with bringing together the wide range of initiatives that we spearhead as part of our commitment to be a responsible business. A former corporate lawyer, Lorna co-ordinates the interaction and overlap between the firm’s four areas of focus: communities, people, the environment and collaborative working with external partners.
For Gowling WLG, corporate responsibility is all about making connections and making a difference. They give back to their local community by providing pro bono advice, volunteering to support projects relating to homelessness, education, inner city needs and charitable giving including their charities of the year. The support the wellbeing of their people and encourage diversity and inclusion within their workforce and the wider profession. Gowling WLG is committed to reducing their environmental impacts and seek to engage engaging with external partners – clients, suppliers and others to share their approach and collaborate enabling a greater impact.
Lorna leads the firm’s involvement with Business Action on Homelessness and the Ready for Work programme. Since 2001 when the programme began, over 100 people have had work placements with the firm.
“We have people on our payroll who have come through the initiative, and it always makes my day to see a colleague doing their job with a big smile on their face, knowing that they have come out of that.”
Lorna leads the firm’s pro bono work, which makes a difference to a wide range of organisations. They provide pro-bono support to approximately 80 charities – some of them are big names like Oxfam, the British Red Cross, NSPCC, RNIB and the Big Issue Foundation but the majority are actually really small charities for whom even a small piece of pro bono work can make a huge difference.
Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men. In addition to community projects supporting victims of domestic violence, Lorna has introduced a Domestic Violence awareness raising campaign and support programme within the firm, as a result of which a number of people have come forward to ask for help. They have been able to make sure that they are safe and have the support they need.
Lorna is an ambassador for the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence.