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National firm aims for 40% female partners by 2023
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National firm aims for 40% female partners by 2023

A national law firm has stepped up on its intention to commit to gender-equality, announcing a new target to increase the representation of women in its partnership to 40 per cent by 2023.

Gilbert + Tobin is “taking action to address barriers to women’s full participation in the workforce”, striving to “help play a role in improving the representation of women in senior leadership across the legal profession.”

The target, the firm said, is a “critical step towards becoming a gender-balanced partnership.”

It is just one element in a “suite of new initiatives to further accelerate its progress towards building a diverse and inclusive workforce,” and “reflects G+T’s continued focus on its diversity and inclusion agenda as a key enabler to the firm’s future success.”

This announcement follows Ashurst’s recent pledge to make one-third of its partners female by 2022.

Along with the partnership target, Gilbert + Tobin has announced it will be extending superannuation contributions to cover unpaid portions of parental leave for primary carers, while “continuing to support new parents through best-practice parental leave entitlements, flexible working options and return-to-work support.”

The firm will be providing employees with a ‘work from home IT kit’, which will include a full-sized screen and keyboard to enable “greater flexibility in how people manage their personal commitments with the needs of clients,” according to a statement.

Managing partner Danny Gilbert said leaders need to “attract the best talent in the market” and assemble diverse teams “who can bring unique perspectives, experiences and skill sets to the table” with clients increasingly looking for firms able to deliver high quality and innovative outcomes.

“While we have always had more than 30 per cent of our partners being women, we recognise we need to take decisive action towards creating a fully gender-balanced partnership, redressing the financial disadvantages and impact of caring responsibilities that fall disproportionately on women and making flexible work practices a reality for all our people,” Mr Gilbert stated.

He explained it as “critical” to enable men and women to “better balance their work and personal commitments.”

Emphasising that the initiatives being announced are not “quick-fixes”, Mr Gilbert said that instead, “they are designed to drive a structural shift to ensure we are providing our people with the right opportunities, tools, policies and environment for them to thrive.”

“We want to ensure G+T continues to be a place that champions equality for all.”

“Importantly, we hope our efforts will help catalyse wider action and change across the profession,” he continued.

Gilbert + Tobin was recently named as a ‘gold firm’ in the Women Lawyers Association of NSW’s ranking system for being one of the “best firms for women.”

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