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In honour of Pride Month, Jesús Enrique Vargas Millan, CITMA Paralegal at Keltie, discusses the personal and professional importance of Pride Month, challenges faced by LGBTQ+ professionals, and Keltie's inclusive environment. He offers a message to LGBTQ+ individuals considering a career in IP law and advises on how firms can boost their diversity and inclusion efforts. Discover his story and Keltie's commitment to creating an inclusive workplace in our latest article.

 

What does Pride Month mean to you?

 

Pride Month is special to me, both personally and professionally. On a personal level, it’s about celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and all the progress we've made together. Professionally, it’s a chance to show how important diversity and inclusivity are in the legal world and how they help create a more innovative and empathetic workplace.

What challenges have you faced as an LGBTQ+ professional in the legal industry, and how have you overcome them?

 

In the past, I felt like I had to hide my personal preferences to succeed professionally, worrying that being open about them would hold me back. To overcome this, I needed to find a supportive place like Keltie, where I could be myself without fear of discrimination. Keltie’s inclusive environment has been amazing, allowing me to thrive at work without hiding who I am.

 

What do you see as the biggest barriers to achieving greater diversity and inclusion in the legal industry today?

 

One of the biggest barriers is the ongoing presence of unconscious biases and outdated stereotypes. These can affect everything from hiring and promotions to daily interactions, making it hard for underrepresented groups to feel fully accepted and valued.

 

There is still a long way to go within the legal sector; what more could the industry do to better support LGBTQ+ individuals (and other underrepresented groups) in their career advancement?

 

The legal industry can do a lot more by providing comprehensive diversity training, setting up mentorship programmes, and creating clear policies that support LGBTQ+ individuals and other underrepresented groups. Having visible role models in the field can also inspire and encourage newcomers.

 

What makes Keltie an LGBTQ+ inclusive environment?

 

Keltie is great because it truly commits to inclusivity through its policies and culture. The firm supports LGBTQ+ initiatives, encourages open dialogue, and ensures everyone is treated with respect and equality. This makes everyone feel accepted and valued, creating a supportive workplace.

 

What message would you like to send to young LGBTQ+ individuals considering a career in IP?

 

To young LGBTQ+ individuals thinking about a career in IP, I’d say: believe in yourself and don’t let societal prejudices stop you. The field of intellectual property is diverse and exciting, and there’s definitely a place for you. Find supportive networks and mentors to help guide you along your career path.

 

What advice would you give to firms looking to improve their diversity and inclusion efforts, not just during Pride Month but year-round?

 

For firms looking to boost their diversity and inclusion efforts, my advice is to commit to these initiatives year-round. This means offering ongoing education and training, fostering a supportive and inclusive culture, and ensuring your policies genuinely reflect a commitment to equality. Listen to your employees to understand their needs and involve them in shaping an inclusive workplace.

 

Pride Month is a time to commemorate the progress made in the LGBTQ+ community and reflect on the challenges. While society has made important strides in equality, the legal industry has some way to go.

 

Keltie is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal industry. A diverse team brings together a range of perspectives, experiences, and talents, leading to more innovative and effective solutions for clients. Read more about Keltie’s Diversity, Inclusion, Charity, and Environment Committee (DICE) here: https://www.keltie.com/knowledge/keltie-launch-dice-on-world-earth-day

For more information about careers at Keltie visit: https://www.keltie.com/careers

Continue reading about Championing Diversity: Jesús Enrique Vargas Millan on Pride Month at Keltie
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