Firms join to fight female talent shortage

Managing partners and senior lawyers from a number of firms are casting competition aside in a collaborative approach to improve gender diversity in the legal profession.

Firms join to fight female talent shortage
A group of firms are tackling the female legal talent shortage head on through the development of The Managing Partners Diversity Initiative. 

Following the Law Council’s National Attrition and Re-engagement study (NARS report) released in February last year, The Managing Partners Diversity Initiative has been developed, holding a series of events for member firms.

A panel discussion, ‘On boarding after parental leave’ was the first initiative to be rolled out in various cities, to the 13 firms involved.  Hosted by Allens and Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Melbourne and Sydney, and by K&L Gates and DLA Piper in Perth, panellists shared personal experiences like staying on the promotion path while on maternity leave, managing part-time hours with colleagues and clients and making strategic career decisions before falling pregnant.

Firms taking part in The Managing Partners Diversity Initiative are:
Allens;
Ashurst;
Baker & McKenzie;
Clayton Utz;
Corrs Chambers Westgarth;
DLA Piper;
Henry Davis York;
Herbert Smith Freehills;
K&L Gates;
King & Wood Mallesons;
Maddocks;
Minter Ellison;
Norton Rose Fullbright.
 
The NARS report, commissioned by the Law Council of Australia in 2013, was the first study into the reasons for attrition among women lawyers, making recommendations for legal associations and practices, including practical measures to retain female lawyers and to re-engage women lawyers who are re-entering the profession.

Following the success of the first panel discussion, Ashurst and Minter Ellison will be hosting “On boarding after parental leave” in Brisbane and Canberra this month.

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