Nothing now stands in the way of lawyers, law firms, barristers' chambers or legal teams signing the New Zealand Law Society's Gender Equality Charter, Law Society President Kathryn Beck says.
The Charter was launched at Parliament on 12 April. It is a set of commitments aimed at improving the retention and advancement of women lawyers. Charter signatories must meet these commitments over a two-year period and report on progress to the Law Society.
"Actions are what is needed," Ms Beck says, writing in the latest issue of the Law Society magazine LawTalk. "That is why we want signatories to report on how they're doing."
Ms Beck says the Law Society offers assistance, resources and support in meeting the commitments. These include:
- Implementing unconscious bias training for all lawyers and key staff.
- Conducting annual gender pay audits and taking action to close any gender pay gap.
- Encouraging and supporting flexible working hours for all lawyers.
- Actively working to increase gender equality and inclusion in senior legal roles.
"I now urge all legal enterprises to sign up to the Charter. It's very easy and it will be one of the most important actions you take today. All you need to do is to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Sign Me Up," Ms Beck says.
"We'll get back to you quickly and you will join the growing group of lawyers who are committed to making our very rewarding profession inclusive and fair to all."
Further information on the Gender Equality Charter is available in the Women in the Legal Profession section on the Law Society's website.