Global Law Firm Baker McKenzie's Belfast office has announced that it is to support Cara-Friend's LGBTQ+ Awareness Teacher Training programme, as part of their wider firm's commitment to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Cara-Friend is an organisation dedicated to supporting, empowering, educating, and offering friendship to everyone in the LGBT community. The Awareness Teacher Training programme offers training for teachers and all school staff, and aims to encourage them to be more inclusive of, and responsive to, the needs of LGBTQ+ young people within the school community. It is part of their wider 'Educating the Educators' programme.

Baker McKenzie's Belfast office will financially support the programme, which has already had a significant impact on previous participants.  The leading international firm is renowned globally for its work on diversity and inclusion, and in 2017, it ranked 7th in the annual Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2017, an annual audit of workplace culture for LGBT staff.

Speaking after the launch, James Richards, Executive Director of Baker McKenzie's Belfast office said, 

As a global firm, diversity is part of our DNA - and we take considerable pride in what we do to advance LGBT+ equality around the world.

"We believe that no-one should be put at a disadvantage, professionally, financially or socially, on the basis of who they are. Here in Belfast, we set up our LGBT network just over a year ago and we are thrilled to be sponsoring Cara-Friend's Awareness Teacher programme, to help influence our future leaders to respect and support all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Northern Ireland.

Declan Meehan, Cara-Friend's Deputy Director & Youth Development Manager said, "Cara-Friend is delighted to work with Baker McKenzie as part of our LGBTQ+ Inclusive Schools Programme. The Educating the Educators programme is a vital component of our LGBTQ+ Inclusive Schools Programme, and helps to shape how the leaders of tomorrow embrace the LGBTQ+ community.

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