Legal giant presses for immediate progress in gender equality

Action is critical, the firm says

Legal giant presses for immediate progress in gender equality

Continuing its work with advocacy group Women’s Agenda, Baker McKenzie is pressing the industry for immediate progress in gender equality in business.

“It is imperative for organisations committed to gender equality to take some bold steps to truly press for progress. This includes actively looking for female talent for promotion and promoting them, actively recruiting women for senior leadership roles, and reviewing pay levels and ensuring there is no pay gap – and if there is, closing it,” said partner Anne-Marie Allgrove, who chairs Baker McKenzie’s diversity and inclusion committee. “That might involve investment in the short term for longer-term retention and value to the business. It also means listening and validating the female voice and perspective and giving it due weight. It is time to walk the talk. Action is critical.”

The call comes after Baker McKenzie work with Women’s Agenda last year. In a roundtable with business leaders, the global firm co-developed five specific steps businesses can take to promote women’s career advancement.

In a new report, the firm supported Women’s Agenda to detail where the larger business community is at in terms of gender equality and formulate recommendations to follow up those launched in 2017.

For its long-term goal, the organisation recommends shifting the cultural expectation through conversations, shifting corporate culture through pressure and influence, shifting the numbers through targets and KPIs, shifting the gender pay gap through pay audits, and shifting the profile of women by giving those in mid-level positions a voice.

More immediate measures employers committed to progress can work to achieve in the short term are ending sexual harassment at work;  making flexible careers an actual reality; and prioritising employee health, wellbeing, and safety.


Related stories:
Fewer female lawyers aspire for leadership positions than male lawyers
Global firm urges peers to shift dials on women in business

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