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Russell Kennedy unveils 40:40:20 gender equality strategy

Russell Kennedy Lawyers has released its updated 2022 to 2025 Gender Equality Strategy, through which it is aiming to achieve a reduction in the gender pay gap of 1.5 per cent by 2023.

user iconJess Feyder 06 October 2022 Big Law
Russell Kennedy unveils 40:40:20 gender equality strategy
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The strategy includes four priority metrics that underpin the leadership capability; they include flexible workplace culture, gender composition, gender pay equity, and capability and education.

The strategy focuses on intersectionality; however, the focus remains on addressing the inequalities between the firm’s two largest gender groups, women (including transgender women) and men (including transgender men).

The strategy aims to improve representation of women in leadership roles, including those on flexible work arrangements.


The target of the strategy is to establish and monitor a representation of 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men, and 20 per cent open to either.

It also aims to increase gender diversity in a number of other roles and increase representation of men and non-binary people in legal support (from 7 per cent to 15 per cent), and business services positions (from 23 per cent to 40 per cent).

Russell Kennedy also aims to address the gender pay gap as part of the strategy, by conducting annual gender pay equity audits by gender, with an intersectionality lens.

It will conduct an analysis of factors that contribute to the gender pay gap, with consequent consideration for policy and procedures.

It aims to achieve a reduction in the gender pay gap of 1.5 per cent by 2023.

In its capability and education metric, Russell Kennedy has set a requirement of compulsory attendance at its gender equity training. 

The strategy has been endorsed by the Russell Kennedy board and was created following an extensive consultation process with staff and external consultants.

Over the last five years since launching the first strategy, Russell Kennedy has seen an improvement in gender composition for women at principal level increase from 28 per cent to 42 per cent.

Russell Kennedy’s managing director and chair of the gender equality committee Paul Gleeson said that the strategy builds on their initial Gender Equality Strategy, which was first published in 2017.

“It will enable us to shape our culture, to bring a continued commitment of gender equality for our people, clients and our community,” he said.

Russell Kennedy’s director of people and culture and member of the gender equality committee Leanda Nissen commented on the strategy. 

“Across the roles and levels, we continue to see greater progress in achieving gender equality, but there is still much more work to do — as a firm, we are genuinely committed to this strategy, which keeps building on the work we have already done.

“The capability and education metric is aimed to develop staff capability and confidence in gender equality — this helps us to improve our staff engagement and retention, and supports attracting the best talent in the market.”