The New Zealand Law Society Women's Advisory Panel says a charter aimed at advancing women in the legal profession will be launched in early 2018.
A draft charter was released to the legal profession for consultation between 14 September and 6 October 2017. The Panel says there were 116 responses to an accompanying online survey plus 28 letters or emails.
"A wide range of feedback was received, much of it positive. Overall, of the 116 people who completed the survey, 66% thought that the charter targeted the right areas and 66% thought that their organisations would support the charter."
A summary of the consultation responses is available here.
Key changes to draft charter
As a result of the consultation, some key changes have been made to the draft charter:
The name of the charter will be changed to the Gender Equality Charter.
A new purpose statement will be added, to make it clear that the charter's purpose is the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession.
The charter format will be amended to make it clear that the key elements of the charter are to lead from the top, make a plan and take action, and to measure progress.
The charter commitment on gender pay audits will be amended to make it clear that the commitment is about measuring and then taking action to close the gender pay gap.
The charter commitment on equitable briefing and instructions will be amended to refer to practices rather than a policy.
The charter commitment on increasing the proportion of women in senior legal roles will be amended to refer to increasing gender equality and inclusion in senior legal roles.
Launch in 2018
The Gender Equality Charter will be launched in early 2018 and charter signatories will be asked to report biennially on progress.
The Women's Advisory Panel says that alongside the charter, guidance and free online tools and resources are being developed.
"The Panel considers that the charter, guidance and free online tools and resources will enable all of the legal profession to take concerted action and make a real difference in improving the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession," it says.
New Zealand Law Society Women's Advisory Panel
|Chris Moore (Chair)||Partner, Greenwood Roche, Auckland|
|Tiana Epati||Partner, Rishworth, Wall and Mathieson, Gisborne|
|Anita Chan QC||Barrister, Dunedin|
|Stephanie Mann||On parental leave from a Senior Solicitor role, Duncan Cotterill, Christchurch|
|Liesle Theron||Principal Advisor - Legal, Social Investment Agency, Wellington|
|Ann Brennan||Chief Legal Advisor, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Wellington|
|David Campbell||Partner, Kensington Swan, Auckland|
|Phillipa Muir||Partner, Simpson Grierson, Auckland|