Home / Diversity & Inclusion / D&I in practice

D&I in practice

We use the Employee Life Cycle as our framework to embed D&I in all areas of the business, from recruitment to career progression and talent retention.


To reach out to a diverse audience and attract a variety of candidates we need to think creatively and widen the talent pool we tap into.

The recruitment agencies we work with have received a clear brief stating our vision and commitment to diversity & inclusion as well as our expectations in terms of the diversity of candidates we require them to provide.

To support social mobility, our Early Talent Acquisition team uses Contextual Recruitment which takes into account the context in which someone’s academic results are achieved.

Our Recruitment and wider HR Teams are incredibly diverse themselves and have all undertaken D&I training to build an awareness of how unconscious biases influence their day-to-day jobs and decision-making. All Hiring Managers are briefed on unconscious bias before interviewing candidates, which helps them make informed objective decisions, and our interview panels are as diverse as possible.

Career progression & talent retention

To build an inclusive firm and support the career progression of all our people, we focus on creating a working environment that works for everybody.

Flexible working is available and we encourage agile working, providing employees with versatile technology to work in a way that works for them and the business.

We have also introduced blind work allocation to ensure everyone has the same opportunities to progress and thrive.

Bespoke D&I training and inclusive leadership best practice training also help us support our people in developing an inclusive working environment.

Shortlists for promotion and rewards are reviewed by diverse panels to ensure fairness across the board and challenge any homogeneity in candidates.

HR policies

CMS regularly review its HR policies, taking a long-term view to build an inclusive and sustainable business.

This resulted for example in significant changes to our Maternity Policy. This approach also covers shared parental leave, adoption and surrogacy, and applies to all employees in the firm including same sex couples.

To support our vision of a work-life balance, and acknowledging that one size does not fit all, we launched our standout ‘Time Out! No questions asked’ scheme, which allows employees to take up to four weeks of unpaid leave that they can use for any purpose. This embeds the culture of authenticity and well-being, allowing people to do what works for them, preventing burnout and increasing retention rates.

CMS also has a Transgender policy and our Dress code policy is gender neutral. In order to accommodate all genders, all our UK locations have gender neutral toilets.

All our policies apply to same sex couples (e.g. shared parental leave, adoption leave etc.).

Diversity data

Capturing diversity data is key to achieving our vision as it helps us to draw an accurate picture of the demographics within the firm, informing our approach, strategy and priorities for the coming years as well as enabling us to track progress.

We have an on-going firm-wide campaign that encourages employees to disclose their diversity data, educating them on the importance of disclosing this information and how it would be used. 

We also ask job applicants to share their diversity data (always on a voluntary basis) so we can understand how our processes potentially stop us from being more diverse and as a result review our processes.

Detailed analysis of diversity data at all levels in the firm and across teams is regularly undertaken to strategise our priorities.