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Women in law firms have made important ground in the past two decades, and altho

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Business and Management

 

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Women in law firms have made important ground in the past two decades, and although there is a long way to go – women are 31.9 per cent of partners in firms in The Australian Legal Partnership Survey, and 27.48 per cent of equity partners – their push for leadership has opened the doors to further diversification.
“As more female leaders come into those firms, the culture is changing,” said longtime diversity and inclusion advocate and partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, ­Juliana Warner. “This does break down barriers.” Diversity and inclusion committees and initiatives are now commonplace, as law firms have come to accept the business case for pluralism.
Ms Warner said that over the next few years the workforce demands would include an expectation of more diverse leaders at the top of organisations, as well as more flexibility, and clever use of technology.
“I think also the current generation of lawyers don’t come in thinking they’re going to be in the same organisation for the term of their career,” she said. “You’ve got to be attractive as a workplace, able to recruit and keep the best and brightest and can’t lose them because you’ve failed to adapt.” The range of factors grouped under diversity includes culture, religion and race – including Indigenous – gender, disability, age and more.
Diversity Council Australia chief executive Lisa ­Annese said an intersectional ­approach was important.
“When we look at who’s been excluded in leadership, it hasn’t just been women,” Ms Annese said. “It’s been anyone who deviated from the dominant culture.” Some people faced the “double jeopardy” of fitting into two diversity categories such as women of racially diverse backgrounds who still struggled to achieve the same outcomes as women from Anglo-Celtic backgrounds.” Ms Warner said being more ­diverse could make the workplace more complex but also gave the industry more talent and skills to work with.
“You might see some different personality styles or different ways of thinking about complex problems, different ways of interacting with clients, and you’ve got to be attuned to the talent in front of you and promote that talent so that you are finally tapping into the full talent pool, not just a small part of it,” she said.
It is hard to track neat data on this, but there is enough to tell the story. For example, the 2020 national profile of solicitors for the Law Society of NSW showed about 0.8 per cent of solicitors identified as Indigenous. This compares to 3.3 per cent of the general population, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 data. The DCA’s Inclusion at Work Index for 2021-22 has a professional, scientific and technical services category which includes law, and showed 4.9 per cent of workers with disabilities. This compared to 18 per cent of the general population, according to ABS 2019 data.
According to Ms Warner, 6 per cent of lawyers in NSW reported having a disability of some kind in the most recent annual survey ­attached to practising certificate renewals. “That’s one of the reasons why the (society’s) diversity and inclusion committee looked at how to make workplaces more disability friendly and accessible,” she said.
One of the fastest growing areas is the push to improve the experience of the gender diverse part of the workforce.
In a 2018 joint Lawyers Weekly and Thomson Reuters survey of 653 lawyers, 23 per cent identified as gender diverse.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a major law firm that didn’t have a pride focus on LGBTQI+ people,” Ms Annese said. “Now, whether that’s about representation or just about connection is a question for each law firm.” Ms Warner said that, like other workers, people who identified as LGBTQI+ “should be able to bring their whole selves to work and you shouldn’t feel in any way constrained about hiding something that is a key part of you”.
The DCA reports that if a workplace is not inclusive, workers are 10 times less likely to innovate, six times less likely to be highly effective, four times more likely to report experiencing discrimination and/or harassment at work, and 3.5 times more likely to leave their current employer.
Ms Annese stressed the importance and positive outcomes of having inclusive workplaces.
“We know from our inclusion work index that if you have diverse lived experiences and different identities represented in your leadership team and your workplace is inclusive, your workplace then becomes more innovative,” she said. “People give more discretionary effort. It reduces risk because problems are approached in a complex way, and it creates more safety. As long as the organisation does it effectively, because you can’t be naive: the more diverse you get, the more complex the workplace becomes.”
PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE ABOVE
You are required to discuss about LACK OF COMMUNICATION in the attached to this.
There are 7 sections:
1. Executive Summary
2. Table of Contents
3. Introduction: In the introduction briefly explain what the report is about.
4. Body of Report
a. Company or industry background: You need to address (but are NOT
Page 1 of 5
limited to) the following:
o Describetherelevantindustryenvironmentaffectingyourchosen
Australian organisation.
▪ (You may want to review your notes on analysis, using S.W.O.T.
and or P.E.S.T.E.L. analysis)
o What does the company do? Where is it based?
b. Discuss ONE management problem in detail by:
o Identifying the management concepts (see our weekly topics) that go with it. They can be broken down into sub-sections) such as: is this a supply chain issue or an HRM issue or a value chain issue or a CSR or a sustainability issue?
o You must define and explain the relevant management concept/s. (with referencing)
o You must explain how the issue relates to this management concept (with Harvard style referencing),

 

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