find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
KWM aims for greater girl power

KWM aims for greater girl power

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has insisted it can achieve a 30 per cent female partner ratio by 2015 without enforcing a quota system.

Late yesterday (5 July), KWM announced that it was seeking to lift its female partner ratio from the current level of 25 per cent to 30 per cent by 2015.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly about the target, Caroline Coops (pictured), the firm’s managing partner of people and talent, rejected the suggestion that, by not setting a quota, the firm was not making a strong statement about the importance of gender diversity.

“A quota is completely at odds with the principles this firm holds dear, which is that all progression should be based on merit,” she said. “A quota would not sit well with our firm’s values and is not something that was ever under serious consideration.”

KWM has around 930 lawyers in Australia, including partners, with more than half its lawyers below the partner level (56%) being female.

Diverse figures
Compared to other large law firms, KWM has a high female partner rate. Freehills (23%), Corrs Chambers Westgarth (22%) and Allens (17%) all rank behind their top-tier rival.

Gilbert + Tobin, with a female partner ratio that has nudged 40 per cent over the last few years, is viewed as the leading top-tier or large mid-tier firm with regard to the promotion of women.

Coops said that in the long-term it would be hoped that the female partnership numbers will steadily grow beyond the 30 per cent level, but that in setting this “aspirational target” it wanted to accelerate the process of change.

“Like all firms [we] have had a rate of change, but a relatively slow rate of change,” she said. “In setting the target we didn’t want to set a target that had no element of stretch and just set a figure where we would otherwise end up.”

Coops is the co-chair of the firm’s 13-lawyer strong Diversity Council. Australian managing partner Tony O’Malley is the other co-chair.

The target figure was set after a diversity survey was commissioned by the firm, which was completed by nearly two thirds its staff.

In order to meet their aim, Coops said the firm would target the retention of female senior associates and that KWM had to “be more flexible around flexible work arrangements”.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

KWM aims for greater girl power
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...