Announced at Coleman Greig’s International Women’s Day event, the official White Ribbon workplace accreditation lasts for three years and “recognises the efforts of organisations who take active steps to end violence against women”, a statement said.
The western Sydney firm’s White Ribbon committee has been acknowledged by the firm as working for more than 18 months to achieve the milestone, having looked specifically at addressing 15 in-depth assessment criteria under three standard areas set out by White Ribbon Australia.
White Ribbon Australia is an organisation that campaigns and engages in the prevention of violence against women, with the mission of “creating a nation that respects women, in which every woman lives in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse”, according to the registered charity.
A number of changes internally at Coleman Greig reflect criteria requirements and commitments, and pertain to specific resource allocation, ongoing internal communications around raising awareness, workplace policy introductions, updated and increased security measures, and in-depth firm-wide training related to the detrimental and widespread effects of violence against women.
Weighing in on the firm’s achievement, NSW Law Society president Elizabeth Espinosa provided her congratulations “for taking the lead in recognising and advocating for both a balanced workplace and a balanced profession, something that benefits us all”.
“This accreditation engenders a whole-of-organisation commitment to creating a safe and respectful workplace,” she continued.
“Every person and organisation can play a role in forging gender parity in the workplace, balance is not just a women’s issue, as we know – it’s also a business issue.”
Coleman Greig CEO Warrick McLean noted that “ending violence against women is an incredibly important issue for us here at Coleman Greig – one which we are proud to publicly show our strong and ongoing support for”.
“As western Sydney’s leading law firm, and as an organisation with over 70 per cent female employees, we felt a real responsibility to show our commitment to White Ribbon ideals by achieving accreditation through the organisation’s Workplace Program,” he explained.
Karina Ralston, a principal lawyer with Coleman Greig’s family law team, said she was “truly proud to be part of a firm that both recognises the issue of violence against women and is genuinely committed to keeping a dialogue going”.
“Unfortunately, as a family lawyer I see the result of family violence, in all its forms, everyday – with the reality being that it is far more prevalent than people sometimes realise,” Ms Ralston added.
“Violence against women exists in various forms and is sometimes hard to recognise at first instance – one of the reasons that appropriate workplace policies and ongoing training are so incredibly important.”