Herbert Smith Freehills administered a new gender target, where it committed to ensuring that women will comprise 35 per cent of partners and partner leadership roles by 1 May 2023.
As of 1 May 2019, the firm has 26 per cent women in its global partnership and 23 per cent women in partner leadership roles, a statement from HSF confirmed. Also as of 1 May 2019, 30 per cent of the firm’s partners in Australia are women, it noted.
“I am very proud to say that the number of women in our partnership has increased from 81 to 124 in the five years since we set the original targets. The results show that we have had real success in highlighting and addressing the issue of gender diversity in our partnership pipeline and in the partnership, in a way which was not previously the case,” HSF CEO Mark Rigotti said.
“As a firm we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of continuously pushing for better gender diversity. Targets should be aspirational and set to stretch and drive significant change. I believe our new higher target of 35 per cent will do just that and keep the momentum going.
“Clients also demand to experience diverse partnerships, we are listening to this and making progress. We are working to create a workforce that demonstrates to all would-be lawyers and those rising up the ranks that there is no glass ceiling."
Global head of employment, pensions and incentives, and chair of the firm’s global diversity and inclusion group, Alison Brown, added: “In the last five years since we initially set targets I have seen a real step change in the way the firm has approached gender diversity.
“It has enabled us to examine everything we do and find ways to improve the initiatives already in place, to help us achieve better gender diversity. It has also opened up the gender conversation to the wider firm and ensures everyone is taking ownership of the issue and striving for ways to achieve our targets, from across the whole business,” she said.