find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
MPs key to diversity success

MPs key to diversity success

Diversity strategies must be championed by managing partners or they won’t work, a diversity expert told delegates at the Women Legal 2013 conference yesterday (31 January).

Fiona Krautil, principal of Diversity Knowhow and former head of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, said managing partners in Australia had for some time taken a weak stance in diversity matters. Recently, however, she has observed an attitudinal shift at the top.

“Managing partners are actually chairing their diversity panels now,” she said, explaining that previously many had been figureheads rather than actively involved in panel activities.

Krautil presented on the topic of The Best Law Firms for Women at the conference held in Sydney. She argued that managing partners are “absolutely critical” to the success of a firm’s diversity policy.

According to Krautil, firm leaders are in a position to set the tone of their firm’s culture and “make diversity cool”. To do this, they need to regularly engage with staff on the issue.

“If the most senior people in your organisation aren’t talking about [diversity] no one thinks it’s important,” she said. “If [employees] are not part of it they’ll be criticising it, there’ll be a backlash.

“Everyone’s got to be in on it.”

The aim is to shift the culture of law firms from being an environment for “Anglo white men who had a partner at home” to one that breeds diversity and doesn’t treat flexible working arrangements as an inconvenience, she explained.

“It’s not enough for diversity and flexibility to be tolerated, it has to be inclusive, and that requires strong leadership.”

Krautil admitted, however, that targets are also necessary for diversity strategies to achieve tangible results. So, too, is a compelling business case that can, for example, show how the firm can leverage diversity with clients to make money.

“In business you get what you measure, and in law firms, which measure everything, why wouldn’t you have targets?”

A robust business case will also ensure the longevity of a diversity strategy in challenging economic conditions, added Krautil. “If you don’t anchor your diversity strategy to your business case it will fall off like a fridge magnet when the going gets tough.”

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

MPs key to diversity success
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 24 2017
Demand lifts in 2017/18 for short-term finance to cover crises
Promoted by NWC Finance. The first five months of the 2017-18 financial year have seen unpreceden...
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
Nov 24 2017
LCA welcomes religious freedom panel
The Law Council of Australia says the establishment of a panel which will examine the human right to...
Law Society launched a new website, legal politics and lawmaking
Nov 24 2017
Law Society launches project to engage young Aussies
The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website to engage young Australians in legal politics and ...
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 & ...