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Rachel Welch-Phillips

Rachel is the Founder and Co-Chair of Bird & Bird LLP’s BAME Network, Embrace, through which she has carried out vital work to drive the charge for diversity and inclusion. Embrace was recognized by the UK Diversity Legal Awards as the Outstanding Multicultural Employee Network of the year in 2019 for its work in tackling barriers faced by minority communities within the workplace. Rachel is also a public speaker and has participated as a panelist at local councils, universities and private company events where she has shared her journey to law and advocates for greater awareness of black history in Britain. Rachel is an active mentor and a frequent pro bono clinic volunteer. Rachel has been recognized as the Under 35 Woman of the Year at the Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2018, and as the Future Leader Minority Lawyer at the Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Europe Awards 2019.

Rachel Welch-Phillips

In September 2017, Rachel developed an awareness campaign surrounding the 30th anniversary of Black History Month, creating profiles of minority ethnic legal minds that have shaped the UK and generating conversation internally around the significant impact to the profession made by underrepresented groups. Following that, Rachel founded Embrace, the first BAME network at the firm, which she now chairs. Since launching, the network has hosted internal workshops discussing culture and race in the workplace, held a book signing client event featuring keynote speaker June Sarpong MBE, and hosted an internal screening of “Hidden Figures”. Embrace enjoyed a full house at their Black History Month panel event in October 2018 where they discussed the past, present and future of ethnic minorities in the workplace. The network has run two social media campaigns, with the aim of improving the association of the firm’s brand with open acceptance of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Externally, Rachel dedicates time each week to engaging with those who aspire to law, as well as those who don’t yet know they can, and mentors a law student through the firm’s Bursary Scheme. She is also participates in Legal Experts in Schools, where she focuses on predominantly BAME schools, and is a Professional Ambassador in the Aspiring Solicitors programme. She has served as a panellist at the Brent Council Black History Month, and mentors numerous individuals in their academic and career development.