The 2018 Working Mother 60 list, compiled in conjunction with the US-based ABA Journal, has put together its eleventh annual ranking of firms that “utilise best practices to retain and promote women lawyers”.
“At these law firms, almost half of associates and more than a third of partners are women, on average, while one-fifth of equity partners are women,” Working Mother noted in a statement.
“These firms also increasingly offer extended parental leave benefits and encourage more lawyers to work remotely and use flexible hours.”
The seven firms with Australian presences that made the list are: Baker McKenzie (where women were more than 40 per cent of new partners in 2017), Dentons (boasting a gender-neutral parental leave policy giving all lawyers 26 weeks off with up to 18 weeks full day), DLA Piper (with almost 40 per cent of firm sector leaders being female), Hogan Lovells (50 per cent of associates and 41 per cent of lawyers are women), Lathan & Watkins (in-house program giving associates the automatic option of working reduced hours for up to six months before and after parental leave), Reed Smith (women are 21 per cent of equity partners) and Seyfarth Shaw (where fee-earners can move back and forth between partnership and non-partnership tracks).
In response to the publication of the top 60 list, Dentons WomenLEAD co-chair Christina Carroll said it is “committed to recruiting, retaining, mentoring and advancing the careers of our talented women lawyers and professionals”.
“It is with great enthusiasm that we receive this recognition as we continue to strive to build upon each success to create a more diverse and inclusive firm culture,” noted DLA Piper Leadership Alliance for Women co-chair Lisa Haile.
Baker McKenzie tweeted: “Proud to be named among the best law firms for women, recognising our commitment to retaining and promoting women”.
And Seyfarth Shaw Women’s Network chair Ellen McLaughlin said, “This is a tremendous honour which recognises our continued best practices around flexibility and support for women’s advancement.”