Building a more diverse and inclusive legal profession
20 December 2017
The Law Council of Australia is building a safer and fairer legal profession with the launch of new resources supporting Diversity & Inclusion.
Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, said three new tools available on the Law Council website delivered national leadership on the issue of diversity and equity and would provide lawyers with important information to help them grasp the opportunities presented by changing times, expectations, and workplace laws.
The three new webpages specifically deal with:
1. Flexible workplaces in the legal profession;
2. How to make your workplace LGBTI+ friendly; and
3. Bullying and harassment in the workplace.
“The strength of the legal profession depends upon nurturing a professional environment that fosters and rewards individual ability, application and integrity, shielded from the impact of discriminatory, extraneous and arbitrary practices. The overarching objective is to provide a productive, inclusive and sustainable legal profession that is well placed to serve the needs of the community,” Ms McLeod said.
“Ultimately, it is in the best interests of employers to ensure that they provide workplaces where employees are free from harassment and discrimination based on attributes including gender, sexual orientation and family responsibilities.
“We have been collating a wide range of information, policies, procedures, tips and links.
“This resource will grow over time as new initiatives and policies are developed, as we continue to develop a culture of inclusiveness across the legal profession.
“We encourage all lawyers to use the resources and provide feedback to the Law Council.
“The Law Council has worked proactively and closely with law firms, state and territory law societies and bars, to examine the issue of attrition and retention of women lawyers. It is exciting to today deliver the final three components of those priority actions identified by our research,” said Ms McLeod, who has overseen the design and implementation of the Law Council’s diversity program over a number of years.
The tools launched today build upon other important equity and diversity initiatives developed by the Law Council, including: the National Attrition and Re-engagement Study Report, the Equitable Briefing Policy, the Diversity and Equality Charter and the Unconscious Bias training program.
The three new web pages can be accessed here.
Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs
P. 02 6246 3715 E. Patrick.Pantano@lawcouncil.au