New Zealand Law Society - Gender Equality Charter

Gender Equality Charter

The Gender Equality Charter is a set of commitments aimed at improving the retention and advancement of women lawyers. Charter signatories agree to follow a set of ongoing commitments and report to the Law Society every two years (by way of a survey) on what they are doing to meet those commitments.

By signing up to the charter, signatories commit to:

  • Lead from the top
  • Make a plan and take action
  • Measure progress

The specific commitments include tackling unconscious bias, encouraging flexible working, closing the gender pay gap and promoting equitable instructions.

The Charter is open to the whole legal profession. Law firms, in-house legal teams, sole practitioners (including barristers sole) and barristers’ chambers can all sign up to signal their commitment to gender equality and inclusion.

To find out more, check out the charter. To sign up, email with the subject line Sign Me Up.

Principles underpinning the charter

Some key principles underpin the Gender Equality Charter.

  • The charter is designed to support and encourage the legal profession to improve the retention and advancement of female lawyers.
  • The charter is for all of the legal profession, from sole practitioners (including barristers), smaller law firms, barristers’ chambers to large law firms and in-house legal teams.
  • The charter is focused on areas that will make a real difference in improving the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession.
  • The charter is designed to help improve culture and is not a tick box compliance exercise.
  • The charter is designed so that signatories can choose the best way to meet charter commitments according to their needs.
  • Administrative reporting requirements are not onerous and intrusive but focus on key metrics to measure overall progress in improving gender equality and inclusion in the profession.

Benefits of signing up to the charter

Signing up to the Gender Equality Charter enables signatories to make a public statement of their commitment to improving gender equality and inclusion. Charter signatories are part of a community committed to improving gender equality and inclusion that will lead, develop and share best practice for the benefit of the legal profession. The New Zealand Law Society has become a signatory.

Charter signatories will be able to use a specially designed logo on their communications and marketing.

Find out how to sign up.

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