Women now make up a third of Freehills' board with the recent appointment of partner Jane Hodder.
The firm's board is made up of nine members and Hodder joins fellow female board members, partner Rebecca Maslen-Stannage and external board member Helen Nugent.
"It is fantastic to see that not only do we now have women make up a third of our board, but also over 21 per cent of our partnership and 60 per cent of our lawyers," said chief executive and managing partner, Gavin Bell. "We are proud that we were the first major Australian law firm to appoint a female partner in 1978 and we remain focused on creating a work environment that enables women to be successful, fulfilled and to take on leadership roles."
Freehills has been vocal on the issue of increasing women in leadership positions in the broader business community. The firm recently hosted an Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Mentors and Mentees dinner as part of the launch of the AICD's mentoring program, whereby chairmen from ASX 200 companies mentor senior executive women to prepare them for director responsibilities.
Freehills' "Women at Freehills" strategy includes partner development programs focused on improving career conversations, challenging mindsets and assumptions about gender; coaching programs; focus groups; setting partner targets; parental support programs; flexible working plans and regular policy reviews.