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Law Society’s Gender Equality Charter

Law Society’s Gender Equality Charter hits 100 signatories

The New Zealand Law Society’s Gender Equality Charter has now been adopted by 100 legal workplaces across the country.

The charter was launched to the profession by the Law Society in April this year.

100 signatories represents over 2700 lawyers of the about 13300 that hold practising certificates in New Zealand.

Law Society President, Kathryn Beck says she’s delighted with the progress of the charter.

“This is a remarkable achievement. Earlier this year the Law Society released the results of a Workplace Environment Survey which made it very clear to us that lawyers value workplace culture. We now have 20% of lawyers working in environments where the Gender Equality Charter is now part of the cultural fabric,” Ms Beck says.

The chair of the Women’s Advisory Panel, Chris Moore is also applauding the result and encourages other workplaces to sign up for genuine reasons.

“For our firm, Greenwood Roche, In addition to committing to the Gender Equality Charter, we have undertaken unconscious bias training, are working to ensure we have a wider and more diverse group of barristers to brief and are encouraging staff to work remotely, not just parents of young children,” Mr Moore says.

The Gender Equality Charter is a set of commitments aimed at improving the retention and advancement of women lawyers.

These include tackling unconscious bias, encouraging flexible working arrangements for everyone, closing the gender pay gap and promoting equitable instructions.

Signatories agree to meet these commitments over a two-year period and report on progress to the New Zealand Law Society. Free online tools and resources are available to assist charter signatories with their work.

“Ideally we’d like to see all legal workplaces sign up to the Gender Equality Charter. 100 signatories before the year has ended gives us confidence that such a milestone could be achieved. Our new goal is that 30% of the profession are in workplaces that have signed up to the charter by 12 April 2019 which will be the one year anniversary of its launch,” says Kathryn Beck.


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