Lawyers are being encouraged to comment on a draft Gender Diversity and Inclusion Charter that’s being developed for the legal profession.
The charter is an initiative of the Law Society’s Women’s Advisory Panel that was set up to look at ways to support the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession.
“Gender diversity is critical to the success and sustainability of the legal profession. I hope the charter will help accelerate the progress of women to leadership positions in law,” says chair of the Women’s Advisory Panel, Chris Moore.
The Law Society is seeking feedback from all lawyers on the draft charter by tomorrow. (6 October)
To provide feedback click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Lawyers can ask any questions they may have in relation to the draft Gender Diversity and Inclusion Charter by sending an email to the same address.
In recent years women have made up close to 70% of law graduates from universities, and almost 50% of those holding practising certificates. Yet women make up less than 30% of those who are partners or directors in law firms.
“We need to see greater progress in terms of the advancement of women to the higher ranks of the legal profession. The charter is about the profession committing to concerted action to address this visible and longstanding problem,” says New Zealand Law Society President, Kathryn Beck.
The Gender Diversity and Inclusion Charter is voluntary but requires law firms and in-house teams that sign up to the charter to make a number of commitments.
“The culture across the legal profession needs to move forward if we are to retain our many women practitioners. We believe these are the right areas to target in addressing this vital issue,” Ms Beck says.
The Law Society’s Gender Diversity and Inclusion Charter is part of a broader programme of work on diversity. The charter will evolve over time to also include other aspects of diversity such as ethnic and cultural diversity.