1 June 2022 – Leading African law firm Adams & Adams has been awarded a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Level 1 rating, the highest rating possible in South Africa. This achievement reaffirms the firm’s commitment to the country’s transformation agenda.
“Obtaining a top B-BBEE rating is a significant milestone in our firm’s history. This achievement has been made possible through our team’s effort to implement and adopt policies and programmes, which have resulted in transformative changes within the firm that are far more meaningful than merely compliance,” says Kelly Thompson, chairperson of Adams & Adams.
As part of the firm’s commitment to transformation, it established a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to address this challenge across the organisation and to engage individuals on a personal level. The committee developed a transformation policy and implemented a number of practical measures with a focus on broadening diversity.
The firm involved partners in active discussions and workshops on transformation and diversity, facilitated by an experienced external facilitator. In addition, a staff consultative forum was established to address empowerment opportunities in the staff base.
“Our Level 1 B-BEEE rating is recognition of our journey to build a more inclusive firm that empowers people with opportunities and skills for a better South Africa. Adams & Adams has been working actively to meet these transformation goals and to embrace diversity and inclusion as part of our business culture,” says Nthabisheng Phaswana, chairperson of Adams & Adams Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
The firm has invested in continuous skills development and empowerment programmes, with a focus on attracting, nurturing, and promoting talent from diverse and previously disadvantaged backgrounds. This approach has enabled the firm to provide a strong career development foundation to 133 candidate attorneys of colour over the past ten years and to boast a current firm composition on the key staffing demographics of previously advantaged individuals and females of slightly below 70% and 80% respectively.
Adams & Adams also supports the South African government’s Youth Employment Service (YES) programme by providing one-year work opportunities for 30 eligible black South African candidates between the age of 18 and 35. Through meaningful skills development and access to mentorship and real-life work experience, these learners will have the tools and ability to make a valuable contribution to our country’s future.
Further, the firm has an active Secretarial Training Centre which opened in 2002. The aim of the school is to equip men and women, from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, with essential secretarial skills and knowledge. Twelve students are selected annually to undergo a year-long training curriculum. The centre is accredited by the Services Sector Education and Training Authority and provides candidates with a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4 qualification on completion of the programme. Students are typically all employed by the firm post their qualification.
“Supporting transformation at grass-roots level ensures that the next generation of professionals are given equal opportunities, while helping to overcome the challenge of youth unemployment in South Africa. While we acknowledge there is still more work to be done, we are proud of the steps we have taken to contribute to socio-economic development for our country,” concludes Thompson.