The Melbourne University Law Students’ Society’s role is to enrich student life at Melbourne Law School. We provide events and initiatives that are in the best interests of students and also advocate on students’ behalf on key issues. We take our role as student leaders very seriously, and cherish the opportunity we are given to drive change within the profession and work to enhance the experiences of students entering the field.
It is important for us to ensure that our sponsor organisations reflect our values and our commitment to changing the profession for the better. To this end, we are extremely proud to be introducing an Ethical Sponsorship policy in 2020.
Our policy will focus on three key issues: inclusion and diversity, sexual harassment in the legal profession, and mental health and wellbeing. These are issues that students want to hear about and are live issues in the legal profession. This year we encouraged our sponsors to submit a short statement, addressing the organisation’s official stance regarding these three issues as well as details of any specific initiatives. These statements can be read below:
Jump to organisation statement
- Baker McKenzie
- Clayton Utz
- Clifford Chance
- Corrs Chambers Westgarth
- Gilbert + Tobin
- Herbert Smith Freehills
- K&L Gates
- King & Wood Mallesons
- Lander & Rogers
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- PwC Australia
Inclusion and diversity
Allens has long been committed to inclusion and diversity. Harnessing the many talents of our people helps us connect with our clients, solve complex problems, innovate and attract even more great people.
As a team, we have many different stories, but we stand side-by-side in delivering exceptional outcomes for our clients and communities.
Allens’ inclusion and diversity strategy focuses on implementing the right structures, driving inclusive behaviours and building ‘hearts and minds’ commitment across a range of pillars, including gender, parents and carers, LGBTQ+, Indigenous, cultural and linguistic diversity and flexible work. We’re looking to build on inclusion as a strength, mainstream flexible work and actively support and manage our talented people throughout their careers.
Mental health and wellbeing
We take the health and wellbeing of our people seriously at Allens. We know wellbeing is a combination of physical, mental, emotional and social health factors, and our approach to wellbeing reflects this.
Our wellbeing framework focuses on four key areas:
- Mind: developing healthy minds encompassing mental health and resilience
- Body: recognising the importance of physical health and fitness
- Culture: appreciating the role of leadership and the impact of our work environment on wellbeing
- Connection: acknowledging the necessity of purpose and relationships that sustain and support us
Examples of initiatives we use to support wellbeing across these areas include: flexible work and leave policies, professional counselling, gym memberships, flu vaccines, healthy catering, parental leave transition coaching, carer referral services, fitness challenges, and targeted campaigns, pilots and programs. Each lawyer is assigned a Performance Coach who supports their wellbeing and assists with workload management. Other employees are supported by their managers.
Equal employment opportunity, bullying and harassment policy
Allens is also committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity (EEO) and ensuring our workplace is free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.
Providing a safe and supportive workplace is critical. We value the diversity of our workforce, respect the differences between individuals, and recognise that each person has individual talents and skills to bring to their role.
Our EEO policy sets out responsibilities and applies to behaviour at work. All employees must complete online EEO training when they commence and refresher training during their employment.
We want everyone who works at Allens to have a fulfilling experience, characterised by respect, fairness and equal opportunity. We are saddened that some people across society and the legal profession do not always have that experience, and we are absolutely committed to making our workplace a safe and respectful environment for all our people.
We are a firm that listens, learns and strives to improve. When we become aware of misconduct, it is investigated swiftly and we work to ensure any action taken is appropriate and takes into account the wellbeing and wishes of the aggrieved person. We encourage our people to speak up if they experience or witness this behaviour. We have multiple escalation channels for anyone to raise a workplace concern, including an external hotline ‘Speak Up’ where employees can choose to do so anonymously. Our Employee Assistance Program can also help with strategies and advice on how to raise an issue.
Adherence to LIV clerkship and traineeship guidelines
In 2020, we are once again signatories to the LIV guidelines for clerkship and traineeship (graduate) roles and will be strictly adhering to the guidelines. We are mindful of the candidate experience and pride ourselves on keeping our candidates informed at each step of the recruitment process, as well as providing transparency throughout the process and on offer day.
We encourage candidates to reach out if they are unclear on our process or have any questions: your wellbeing—particularly during this process—is vital.
At Ashurst, we see the health and wellbeing of our people as essential to achieving our goal of being an exceptional place to work.
Law is a people business and our aim is to foster a climate within the firm where people operate at their best. The work we do is demanding, our standards are high and there are many pressures on people’s time and energy.
Resilience is important for managing these pressures, and stress management is critical to resilience. If we learn to manage stress we can successfully keep it at levels where it energises performance rather than detracting from it.
Our wellbeing programs are directed at raising awareness and building skills in identifying, preventing and managing stress, and helping our people build confidence and resilience.
Some of the practical measures we take include:
- Access to LifeWorks the firm’s Employee Assistance Program for partners, staff and immediate family members
- Access to Wellbeing Officers across the firm
- Access to Mental Health First Aid Officers
- Access to Healthy Living sessions
- Free annual flu vaccinations
- Subsidised gym membership
- Ongoing involvement in local sporting teams and sporting events
- Access to discounted nib health insurance
- Access to the Specsavers Corporate Club
- Salary continuance insurance at no cost to most partners and staff
Our partners are also invited to attend resilience and mental health training to help them better identify employees at risk.
Ashurst Australia is also taking all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment occurring in the firm.
The firm is ensuring that all partners and staff members clearly understand what sexual harassment is by introducing an ongoing education program.
All partners and managers must reinforce the message to their staff that sexual harassment is unlawful, not acceptable and that any victimisation of those who speak against it will not be tolerated.
Ashurst Australia has also set up procedures to ensure that sexual harassment matters are resolved.
The firm has nominated a number of Contact Officers. They assist and advise on options for resolving the situation, either informally or through more formal channels.
Ashurst is a signatory of the LIV Seasonal Clerkship and Traineeship Guidelines again in 2020. We strongly believe that the guidelines provide a fair, transparent and wellbeing focused process that benefit both the firms and candidates working within them. We strongly encourage all candidates to contact us if they have any questions or concerns regarding our recruitment process.
Equal employment opportunity and safe and inclusive working environment
Baker McKenzie is committed to building and maintaining a positive, safe, diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunity for all to progress and have a meaningful career with our Firm. Our mission is to:
- provide equality of opportunity to our people irrespective of personal attributes such as race, colour, religion, citizenship, national origin, ethnicity, cultural background, age, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, transgender status, marital status, pregnancy and disability (known in many jurisdictions as “Protected Attributes”). This list is not exhaustive; the applicable laws of a jurisdiction may also identify additional Protected Attributes;
- create a work environment that supports mutual trust and psychological safety, ensuring our people can be themselves, ask questions, raise concerns and seek guidance without fear;
- set clear behavioural expectations to drive positive and inclusive behaviours, and take a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to inappropriate, unacceptable and unlawful behaviours including discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying; and
- provide clear mechanisms for raising concerns, accessing support and dealing with issues.
Underpinning the above are our Australian ‘Anti-Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy’ and ‘Health and Safety Policy’, as well as a range of global policies including our ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Respect, Inclusion and Workplace Behaviour Policy’.
All new employees are required to undertake induction sessions and online training modules in relation to the above topics when they commence, and undertake fresher training sessions throughout their employment with us.
Mental health and wellbeing
At Baker McKenzie, we care about our people. We want to support them to thrive and we know that our professional and personal lives do not operate independently – instead they influence each other. By providing a safe and supportive working environment, we can improve the overall wellbeing of all of our people.
BakerWellbeing is a global initiative of education, activities and support. Our goal is sustainable high performance in a caring and psychologically safe environment; an environment where people speak up and ask for help.
Wellbeing is a multidimensional state which is holistic, integrated, and encompasses the different dimensions of life. We have grouped these dimensions into four key categories: physical (diet, nutrition, exercise and sleep), mental (stress management, resilience, emotional wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing), social (being connected, building relationships, having involvement with communities, and communication internally and externally) and professional (building new skills and knowledge, using and developing strengths, active career management and being challenged).
We offer a range of initiatives to support the wellbeing of our people, including:
- our global ‘bAgile’ program which offers our employees a wide range of flexible and agile work arrangements;
- our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which is a free and confidential counselling service;
- fortnightly massages;
- study leave and support;
- flu vaccinations;
- a range of corporate discounts (including gym memberships);
- a range of sporting and social events through our social committee; and
- healthy catering, including fresh fruit.
We also have a Leave Policy, Parental Leave Toolkit and a market-leading Parental Leave Policy, which allows flexibility to take parental leave over two years, ensuring all genders can access up to 18 weeks’ paid parental leave.
In addition, our BakerWellbeing and BakerBalance committees are active in offering programs, events and resources to our people.
Adherence to LIV clerkship and traineeship guidelines
Baker McKenzie Melbourne is a signatory to the LIV Seasonal Clerkship Guidelines 2020 and LIV Traineeship Guidelines 2020 (Guidelines). We have been a signatory to the Guidelines for a number of years and have consistently adhered to the Guidelines.
We appreciate that the recruitment process can be stressful for students – particularly as our HR consultants, who are responsible for our Graduate and Clerk recruitment and programs across Melbourne and Sydney, are former lawyers who have been through this process themselves! We aim to make our process as transparent as possible – prior to the recruitment process commencing (in the Clerkship Guide and in speaking with students at events) and at each stage of the actual recruitment process (application, interview and offer stages).
Baker McKenzie treats student wellbeing very seriously and is active in saying so in our written and verbal communications. In addition, we run a number of sessions for students, unique to Baker McKenzie, to support them with the recruitment process.
As always, we are open to students contacting us if they have any queries in relation to our recruitment process, and we look forward to supporting and connecting with students during the year ahead.
Adherence to LIV Clerkship & Traineeship Guidelines
Clayton Utz is a signatory to both the LIV Seasonal Clerkship and Traineeship Guidelines 2020. As a firm, we recognise the importance of transparency for students as they move through the recruitment process. Our decision to be a signatory to these guidelines is to ensure that students are given a fair and equitable chance to consider all available opportunities on a level playing field. We believe this allows students to make informed decisions about how they would like to begin their career without unnecessary additional pressures and/or stress.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Clayton Utz takes the mental health and wellbeing of its Partners and employees seriously. We have a range of robust policies, procedures and initiatives to best support our people. These include an Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment & Bullying policy, Flexible Work Policy and a Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) policy.
- We recognise the impacts of DFV on individuals and the workplace; and through our DFV policy, we’re committed to supporting people at risk by providing a safe and supportive work environment. Our policy provides support options for our people who are exposed to DFV, and guidance and support for Partners/managers and colleagues who are assisting individuals in these situations.
- Additionally, Clayton Utz takes a systematic approach to risk management. As part of this, we have established an intervention framework that addresses risk and protective factors (including suicide prevention). We also have a comprehensive early return to work and psychological rehabilitation programs. This ensures that our support continues to be people-centric and is fully integrated across all areas of health and wellness.
- We offer our people the opportunity to volunteer as mental health advocates and drive awareness and education around mental health across the firm. We offer this through training as a Mental Health First Aid officer or Mental Health Champion. This training has equips individuals with skills to help identify and start conversations around mental health. Everyone who completes this training has a clear identifier at their desk and in our virtual address book. This makes them easily accessible as a point of contact or referral if an employee needs it.
- We foster a culture of positive mental health and wellness. To support this we regularly offer training and development to our people to promote positive mental health and wellbeing initiatives. By offering regular sessions and education around wellness, we’re ensuring we can maintain an open dialogue across our people in each office.
3) Appointment of National Mental Health Manager and Health, Safety & Wellbeing Manager
- To further advance our progress in the mental health and wellbeing space, Clayton Utz appointed Emma Howard (National Mental Health Manager) and Julio Bara (Health, Safety & Wellbeing Manager) in 2019 to provide expertise and ensure best practice around our integrated mental health and health and wellbeing and strategies. This also ensures we can continue to develop and evolve our policies and in-house initiatives.
4) External Support
- Clayton Utz engaged with the Centre for Corporate Health to manage its external Employee Assistance Provider (CU Assist). It is available around-the-clock for confidential counselling, both for employees and their immediate family.
Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession
Research from the 2019 International Bar Association survey shows there is a culture of sexual harassment and bullying amongst the global legal industry. The firm has a zero-tolerance for bullying and sexual harassment.
As a firm, we took on board the findings in the Independent Review of Russell McVeagh (NZ) to ensure we are fostering a positive culture. This also informed that our policies and procedures continue to remain sustainable while proactively preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Our commitment to ensuring a workplace free from sexual harassment includes:
- Clayton Utz has an Anti-Discrimination, Sexual Harassment & Bullying policy backed by mandatory online and face-to-face training led by our Workplace Relations partners. A focus on preventing sexual harassment is reinforced through our Drug and Alcohol policy and also considered in our progressive Gender Diverse and Gender Affirmation policy. In 2019 we introduced Contact Officers in each of our offices. Contact officers are a new support group with which anyone can raise workplace issues or concerns. They are an additional layer of support and can provide initial guidance on escalating the concern or identify the options available under our firm’s policies and procedures.
- As a new starter at Clayton Utz, your onboarding includes training around expected behaviour. We also conduct refresher training for all Partners and employees every two years in accordance with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency guidelines.
- Additionally, we offer training to all employees on the intended and unintended consequences of inappropriate behaviour including “casual sexism.” Rolling out improved awareness and training helps to ensure our employees understand the impacts within a workplace as well as steps to prevent instances of casual sexism.
- The firm encourages/mandates unconscious bias training for graduates, Partners and managers at key points in the talent cycle. This improves awareness around diversity education and managing anti-discrimination in the workplace.
3) Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces
- As a firm, we supported the above national inquiry (of which the Report was recently released). As part of this participation, we were proactive in waiving non-disclosure agreements to ensure our Partners and employees felt empowered to make confidential submissions, should they wish to do so.
Diversity, dignity and inclusiveness
We have put in place a number of policies that set clear expectations of what our stakeholders can expect from us in relation to diversity, dignity and inclusion; to human rights; and, to the environment.
We work carefully to ensure that the principles at the heart of these policies are integrated into all aspects of how we manage our business.
We recognise that a firm operating in many jurisdictions needs to take into account local law and standards so please read this policy in conjunction with any specific office or jurisdictional guidance available.
We believe that being an equal opportunities firm means going beyond mere compliance with anti-discrimination legislation.
We believe that promoting diversity means creating an inclusive work environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed without obstacles based on their gender, gender identity and expression, marital and civil partnership status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, social or economic background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, age or any other basis prohibited under applicable law.
We recognise that people from varying backgrounds can bring a full range of worthwhile ideas and innovations to our working practices and business. Encouraging everyone at the Firm to respect the individuality of their colleagues and to feel comfortable in making their own contribution is a fundamental aspect of our values and critical to our business success.
Our Equal Opportunities policy applies to recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment, including pay, promotion, training, transfers, and our approach to every other aspect of employment. The Firm aims to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and treated on the basis of their individual abilities and merits and the needs of the Firm.
We support our employees and the partners with a broad range of policies, practices and procedures which aim to recognise individual contribution and performance, develop each individual’s capability and give everyone an equal opportunity to use their talent and fulfil their potential.
Equality of opportunity, fairness, trust, acceptance of differences and the rights of individuals, including the right to work in an atmosphere free from discrimination and prejudice, are important principles of the Firm; our ‘Community’ value, in particular, emphasises the importance the Firm places on inclusiveness and meritocracy and aims to provide an environment where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. We consider that everyone has a responsibility to see that our policy is applied across all levels of the Firm and in everything that we do.
In line with this core value we devise and implement innovative strategies in three strands.
In our firm
Our goal is to deliver an equality of opportunity, an equality of aspiration and an equality of experience to everyone who works in our firm.
We recognise that a true diversity of talent and experience is an essential ingredient in our success. To be the global law firm of choice in this area we need to be the leaders in this area.
With our clients
Clifford Chance has assembled a team of international experts on employment law, campaigning and strategic planning to develop a suite of services and strategic analysis which can be targeted and tailored to help our clients realise their inclusion goals.
We also work with clients on developing collaborative initiatives that raise awareness, build capacity and empower our firms and our people to become effective agents of change.
In the world
We believe that for our values and commitment to inclusion to be real we must be prepared to use our skills to champion and deliver them.
Across the world, from courtrooms to classrooms to communities, we are using our expertise to campaign for change and help realise a more inclusive society for all.
At Clifford Chance we believe everyone is entitled to the same equality of opportunity and experience. Each of us can face a range of personal, work and societal pressures that can impact our mental health and wellbeing.
We realise that working in a law firm can be a demanding environment. Our wellbeing agenda aims to ensure our people are able to recognise and appreciate the importance of maintaining good mental health and in building their resilience and ability to operate healthily and successfully. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is another focus. We support our people in making healthier choices and encourage them to view exercise as social activity.
Corrs recognises the importance of health and wellbeing and is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace through a range of programs and policies. In particular, we offer a range of initiatives that bring insight and awareness to assist people in maintaining good overall health. Importantly, we also recognise the role a person’s manager plays in their wellbeing and we place emphasis on effective ‘everyday leadership’ and have processes in place to monitor a person’s welfare and workload.
Corrs respects and values the diversity of our workforce and we believe that all people have a right to be treated fairly. We expect all employees to contribute to making our workplace supportive, safe and fair.
Our robust internal policies set out our firm’s unwavering commitment to providing a healthy and safe working environment, free from discrimination, for all our people. We provide regular training for all people on our policies to ensure expectations relating to expected conduct at work are understood and met.
Corrs is a proud signatory to the Law Institute of Victoria’s Seasonal Clerkship Guidelines and recognises the benefits of these guidelines when recruiting our future lawyers.
The wellbeing of our prospective clerks and graduates is a priority for Corrs. By adhering to these guidelines, we aim to provide a fair and positive experience for all students involved in our recruitment process and world-class clerkship and graduate programs.
At Gilbert + Tobin, we know our people are our greatest asset and so we have comprehensive policies and practices in place to care for them. Fundamental to achieving our goal of attracting and retaining the best talent is a commitment to creating an environment that is free from discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying, where everyone is treated with dignity, courtesy and respect and where the mental health and wellbeing of our people is prioritised.
We have a firm-wide Diversity Council made up of partners and employees. Their four major streams of focus are gender, flexibility, accessibility and mental wellbeing. As part of our mental wellbeing strategy, we have implemented several new initiatives in the last year, including:
- Launching a firm-wide wellbeing program, ‘Grow + Thrive’, that includes sessions on mental health, wellbeing, resilience, financial health and positive leadership – including firm-wide learning for RUOK? Day.
- Changing our EAP provider (to Centre for Corporate Health) to offer a more comprehensive and improved service to our employees and their families.
- Running national wellbeing events, including ‘wellbeing weeks’ in Sydney and Perth and a ‘wellbeing month’ in Melbourne. Events included free massages, yoga, nutrition seminars, running shoe fit and postural alignment sessions.
- Offering free comprehensive executive health checks for all partners and special counsel.
- Introducing more measures to monitor the workload and hours of our people and ensuring time in lieu is offered to provide an opportunity to rest and recharge.
Managing high volumes of work and tight timelines is an ongoing challenge for our firm and the industry, however, our lawyers have been supported with best-practice technology to ensure they can work flexibly in meeting these demands. Becoming a leader in flexible work in an ongoing project for us and a fundamental part of our business strategy. In October 2018 we announced our new three-year strategy for the firm and a critical element of this ‘taking a leadership position on embracing flexible work practices’.
In 2018 the International Bar Association carried out a global survey exploring bullying and sexual harassment in the legal profession. The survey found that of 1,000 lawyers in Australia, 37% had experienced sexual harassment (compared with 25% globally) and that young lawyers were particularly at risk. Gilbert + Tobin has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and we want to be a leader in combatting this issue. In August 2019 we invited Kieran Pender, author of the report ‘Us Too? Bullying and Harassment in the Legal Profession’, to lead a discussion with us on how the industry can ensure positive, safe and inclusive workplaces.
We have several workplace policies + training in place to prevent sexual harassment, including:
- Unconscious Bias training for all employees, designed to complement our progressive D+I agenda.
- Mandatory annual training for all workers on sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying prevention.
- Appropriate workplace behaviour policy that covers discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying.
In addition, we have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion demonstrated by the fact that:
- We are a Major Partner of the Diversity Council of Australia.
- We have been a WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality since the citation began in 2014.
- We are a Silver Member of the Australia Network on Disability and through our partnership with them have employed legal interns.
- We were a founding signatory to the Law Council’s Gender Equitable Briefing Policy.
- We have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and are committed to increasing the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians at our firm. One of the key ways this is achieved is through our Indigenous Clerkship Program.
- We support our LGBTIQ+ employee action group called ‘OUT’ with firm events and networking.
In November 2018 we announced a new target for women in partnership of 40% by 2023, with a longer-term goal of gender parity. To support this goal, we introduced superannuation on unpaid parental leave and continue to support working parents through best-practice parental leave entitlements, flexible working options and return-to-work support. We also expanded our ‘Women’s Circle’ program nationally and have worked with clients to support the development of their senior women leaders.
At Herbert Smith Freehills we’ve committed to upholding the following values together; to connect, collaborate, lead and excel.
Allowing each member of our team to bring their best to work, by supporting and upholding our standards of engaging with one another, we’re able to nurture those values and achieve great outcomes for our clients.
Our vision is to create a culture free from stigma, where our people feel that they can discuss their mental health, know how to support others, and where they can easily access support, not just in times of need, but to proactively build positive mental health. It’s a journey, but we’ve already made significant progress. Highlights include our award-winning Mental Health Champions program, our mental health awareness training, our global health and wellbeing hub (providing access to support, information and further resources) and our How We Work guidelines, designed to promote more mindful ways of working and eliminate unnecessary stress.
As a firm, we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace culture – a culture that enables our colleagues to ‘bring the best of themselves’ to work and to progress whatever their background or identity. We do not tolerate sexual harassment in our firm and have taken strong action to ensure that it is challenged and addressed.
Finally, we’d like to make a commitment to you, the legal students approaching clerkship applications. We understand this is a difficult time, rife with decisions that will have a tangible impact on your early career.
To reduce that strain, and to ensure we’re putting your wellbeing first, we are an ongoing signatory to the LIV Clerkship and Traineeship Guidelines. These guidelines allow students to make an informed decision around which priority offers to accept and removes the burden of receiving offers at differing times.
We feel it is incredibly important for that decision to rest with you, and that you are afforded the opportunity to explore the legal opportunities on offer here in Victoria and we will continue to support that freedom of choice.
K&L Gates expects that all of its employees and its partners carry out their business and perform their duties to the highest ethical standards whilst maintaining respect for all stakeholders. A strong focus for our firm is in providing a safe working environment which is free from discrimination and harassment as well as maintaining a culture that responds effectively to both the physical and psychological needs of our people.
We acknowledge that in particular, sexual harassment has been identified as an issue within the legal industry and we have therefore adopted a number of initiatives to educate our staff and effectively communicate our zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace.
Initiatives to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace include:
- a comprehensive session on workplace behaviour in our orientation program
- regular mandatory training for all employees and partners on acceptable workplace behaviour delivered by our employment and workplace health and safety lawyers and our human resources staff
- a comprehensive workplace behaviour policy which is issued to all employees and partners on commencement and is available on our intranet
- contact officers in place to assist employees and partners with issues or concerns
- procedures to investigate reports of unacceptable behaviours and disciplinary procedures to address identified issues.
We also recognise that mental health is a major issue within the legal industry and we have adopted the following health and wellbeing initiatives to support our employees and partners:
- a firm funded Employee Assistance Program
- a variety of health and wellbeing initiatives including sporting events, social events, yoga, self-defence classes, gym subsidies and fresh fruit for all staff
- regular training on topics of interest relating to mental health and wellbeing
- a health and wellbeing page on our intranet with tips on a range of health and wellbeing topics and links to online resources
- participation in a variety of health and wellbeing initiatives including R U OK day, the day for the elimination of violence against women, Movember, and International Women’s Day to name a few.
Our commitment to eliminating harassment in the workplace and supporting employees and partners with health and wellbeing initiatives is shared throughout the firm and driven passionately from our Australian Managing Partner and our Global Managing Partner.
King & Wood Mallesons, as a signatory to the LIV Seasonal Clerkship and Traineeship Guidelines, supports and adheres to the agreed framework and recognises its value in providing consistency and fairness.
At King & Wood Mallesons, our three core areas of focus are:
- leading in wellbeing;
- advancing gender equality and inclusion; and
- strengthening our cultural capability.
Leading in Wellbeing
Our wellbeing focus is preventative rather than curative and involves examining our systems and processes to work out where there might be contradictions that could impact the creation of a wellbeing culture. We recognise that wellbeing is multi-faceted and holistic and covers physical and psychological wellbeing, intellectual wellbeing (professional growth) and social connections, interactions and support. Among the initiatives that we have embedded to support positive mental health and wellbeing include:
- One-stop “Managing your workload and wellbeing” dynamic intranet site provides information, policies, processes and support for how we manage our work and the wellbeing of our people, including the risk of fatigue.
- Emphasising our protocols and systems that identify and manage workloads, in particular on “Extra Demand Matters”, to support our people’s wellbeing and development
- Regular career coaching conversations for all lawyers and supporting our people managers with the tools to have meaningful conversations
- Leadership development program for new partners to integrate wellbeing into their leadership roles.
- Confidential Employee Assistance Program and Psychological Rehab Support Program (24/7), both of which report (on an anonymous basis) usage and identify trends for us to proactively action.
- Founding member of the Corporate Mental Health Alliance Australia, business-led and expert-guided alliance which aims to create a culture of good mental health for workers, where everyone can talk about mental health without fear of stigma and share good practice.
Advancing Gender Equality and Inclusion
We are committed to gender diversity and advancing gender equality through engaged leadership and dismantling career barriers to equality through skills, education and continuous improvement of our processes and structures. Our gender equality initiatives are driven and promoted across the firm by our national Gender Working Group, comprised of female and male partners across our offices sponsored by our Chief Executive Partner. Our centre-based Gender Equality Network (GEN-KWM) committees, comprised of a cross-section of our staff and partners, share ideas and insights from business leaders, clients and the community with our partners and staff.
Strengthening our Cultural Capability
International Cultural Capability
We are committed to strengthening and supporting cultural diversity and capability across our firm, including in relation to indigenous Australians. We are signatories to the Cultural Diversity Commitment Charter, which commits to a series of actions that aim to strengthen cultural diversity across the Australian legal profession. KWM operates a strong international cross-border secondment program. We also run an International Graduate Program allowing selected graduates to finish their rotations in a KWM office in another country.
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander reconciliation and empowerment
Our Reconciliation & Empowerment Project is underpinned by our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP – 2020 to 2023) and delivered through our Community Impact programme. The key pillars of our work are respect, relationships & opportunities. Our Reconciliation & Empowerment Leadership Group drives our efforts to advance reconciliation and promote and execute our RAP.
Along with these three core areas, King & Wood Mallesons is committed to promoting equality and inclusion in other key areas:
- LGBTI inclusion;
- Elimination of inappropriate behaviours;
- Flexible working.
LGBTI Inclusion Network at KWM
KWM has a continued focus on awareness, education and advocacy for our LGBTI-identifying staff and allies. KWM’s LINK (LGBTI Inclusion at KWM) network has a strong following throughout the firm and is led by an active passionate Leadership Group with executive sponsorship. The Leadership Group maintains and progresses the LINK Business Plan sets out a range of strategic and operational priorities to further LGBTI awareness, inclusion & education, promotion, community and client engagement, benchmarking and thought leadership.
Elimination of inappropriate behaviours
At King & Wood Mallesons, we are committed to fostering an environment that is fair, safe and based on respect and integrity. Central to this is letting our people know it is safe to speak up to raise concerns regarding inappropriate behaviours including sexual harassment. We have comprehensive policies, processes, measures and education in place to safeguard our people and to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.
KWM adopts a flexible approach to work, understanding that this is a key element of creating a work environment that supports our people and their personal commitments. As offices around Australia closed due to COVID-19, we were able to refresh our approach to flexible working and ensure that our policies were truly accessible by all of our people.
King & Wood Mallesons actively supports a variety of formal and informal flexible working options, accessible to all irrespective of personal circumstances. Some elect to make formal permanent flexibility changes e.g. work part-time. Others prefer to work flexibly in an informal ad-hoc way through occasional changes to their hours or work location. Informal flexibility is openly discussed and agreed within teams as part of their normal operating rhythm.
A statement communicating Lander & Rogers’ stance or procedures in place that address the following points, which form the key initiatives of the MULSS Clerkship Guide this year.
Adherence to LIV Clerkship & Traineeship Guidelines
Lander & Rogers is a signatory to the LIV Clerkship & Traineeship Guidelines, which means we have committed to providing a fair and consistent seasonal clerk and graduate recruitment process for our candidates. We see seasonal clerk and graduate talent as vital to our firm, as it allows all of us to benefit from our clerks’ and graduates’ diverse set of skills, backgrounds and perspectives.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Lander & Rogers has a long-term commitment to the wellbeing of its people and is focused on enabling them to bring their best selves to work, both personally and professionally. We see mental health as integral to a happy and productive workplace.
Our dedicated wellbeing program, Wellness@Landers, takes a holistic approach to supporting the physical and mental health of our people. Since 2018, our firm has focused on resilience — a crucial skill for coping with life’s inevitable obstacles. We’ve partnered with The Resilience Project and its founder, Hugh van Cuylenburg, to build skills in embedding resilience principles into our daily lives; fostering gratitude, empathy and mindfulness; and the power of connection and living with purpose. We stay active and connected with firmwide and team-led activities including virtual and in-person exercise classes, such as yoga and pilates; team sports; online running clubs and distance challenges.
We were recently recognised as a Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA) Gold-level skilled workplace, and have a team of mental health first aid officers on-hand to listen to anyone with mental health concerns and connect them with the appropriate professional help or support.
Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession
Lander & Rogers set a new benchmark for the legal profession when, in November 2020, we overhauled our firm’s policy relating to sexual harassment and defined guidelines around consensual relationships in the workplace:
1) In a simple but powerful change to our Sexual Harassment Policy, we introduced mandatory reporting for anyone who experiences, witnesses or becomes aware of sexual harassment within our firm. We shifted the language in our policy that relates to reporting incidents from “should report” to “must report” – to remove stigma and fear for those coming forward to report issues, and to empower not only victims, but also witnesses and bystanders and their managers. In this way we reinforced our firm’s zero tolerance stance on harassment and affirmed our commitment to an inclusive environment where people feel safe to voice their concerns.
2) We introduced a new Personal Relationships in the Workplace policy, applicable to consensual personal relationships and family relationships. The policy states that any staff members engaging in a personal relationship that raises conflict issues (whether actual, potential or perceived) must report the relationship to their manager or to the
human resources team. This allows the relevant parties to consult and work together to minimise conflicts of interest – particularly where one party in the relationship is in a position of influence. Rather than stigmatising or banning personal relationships in the workplace, the policy allows us to proactively manage any power imbalance or conflict so
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that the relationship doesn’t adversely impact the couple, or their colleagues, in the fulfilment of their roles and duties.
By forging an inclusive work environment where people feel safe to initiate honest conversations around sensitive topics like sexual harassment, Lander & Rogers is taking action against one of the legal industry’s most pervasive issues.
Promoting diversity within the legal profession.
Lander & Rogers is a committed advocate for diversity and inclusion. We are recognised as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Federal Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), for our initiatives designed to promote gender equality through pay equity, flexible work practices and tools, gender neutral parental leave opportunities and the promotion of women to positions of leadership.
We’re proud to have the highest percentage of senior associates of any Australian law firm, at 76% and one of the highest female partner ratios, at 43%. Our firm’s Board is 60% female, and we have a female Chief Executive Partner and female Chair. Our partnership promotion pipeline is 50/50 male and female. Of the 32 lawyers promoted to senior positions in 2020, 78% are women – including 5 out of 7 partners.
We recognise that our firm’s success is a direct reflection of the calibre of our people and we are committed to building a workforce that represents the diversity of the clients and communities we serve. We believe an inclusive workplace, where everyone feels valued and can reach their full potential, is a critical part of our success. We want to be recognised as having an approach to diversity and inclusion that is authentic and genuine and is embedded in our down-to-earth and supportive workplace culture.
Maddocks is a signatory to the LIV Seasonal Clerkship and Traineeship guidelines in 2021, which ensures consistency and fairness throughout the legal recruitment process.
We consider a vibrant, diverse and inclusive workforce to be a strategic asset for our business and critical to achieving our vision to be ‘a great Australian law firm – engaged and successful’.
Diversity includes gender, ethnicity, culture, language, education, disability, age, family/relationship status, sexual orientation, socio economic background and religious beliefs. Diversity also encompasses the many ways people are different in terms of their life experience, education, job function, work experience, ways of thinking and working, personality, location, marital status and caring responsibilities. We are committed to providing an inclusive, safe and supportive work environment where everyone feels comfortable to be their authentic selves. We strive to achieve equality for all of our people and to provide a culture that celebrates diversity and is respectful of each individual. We want to achieve a workforce that reflects the diversity of our clients and the communities we operate in, which forms part of our commitment to understanding our clients and their needs better than anyone else.
Alongside our extensive mentoring program, applicable to all our people, we have a strong commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace. This is encapsulated in the work done by our Maddocks Women, Maddocks Pride and Maddocks Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Groups. These groups are open to all Maddocks people as a way of promoting career development and networking opportunities.
Maddocks has been named as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency every year since 2004. This award is continued recognition that we offer equal opportunity to all our people at Maddocks. We were also named a Bronze Employer at the Australian Workplace Equality Index’s 2020 LGBTQ Inclusion Awards. We were recognised for the initiatives we have implemented to create a safe and inclusive workplace for our LGBTQ allies.
Flexible working practices have long been part of our culture. We recognise that work is what people do, not a place where you go. As an employee you will have access to market-leading working and parental leave arrangements.
All partners and staff are entitled to work in a safe environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), bullying, occupational violence and victimisation. All partners and staff are expected to behave in a professional manner in the workplace and treat each other with dignity and respect.
Your wellbeing is our priority. We know that being fit, healthy and happy improves work performance and morale. Our Be Well Work Well initiatives shine the light on ways to keep you happy, healthy and productive. In a high performance culture, feeling a sense of achievement is important and when you’re well at work it also means that your time with friends, family and your community will be more enjoyable.
One of the most important parts of Be Well Work Well is the Maddocks Employee Assistance Program (EAP). We partner with the Centre for Corporate Health to deliver our EAP, which is designed to support your health and wellbeing by offering free, confidential counselling to support you and your family when needed.
As part of the Maddocks EAP you will have access to the Resilience Box®, a digital platform with tools, videos, podcasts and online learning modules that you can access at any time to help to support your wellbeing. Flu vaccinations, health insurance and superannuation consultations and an ongoing focus on mental health and wellbeing are just some of the benefits you will receive while at Maddocks.
At MinterEllison, our purpose is to create lasting impacts with our clients, our people and our communities. Our culture is built on the foundations of trust, integrity and fairness. We create lasting impacts when we consistently live and work in the MinterEllison Way:
- We build authentic and enduring relationships;
- We deliver excellence without attitude;
- We are curious and innovative;
- We make diversity, in all its forms, central to collaboration;
- We support sustainable ways of working.
Our Board’s strategic Diversity & Inclusion priorities recognise that Diversity in all its forms is central to collaboration and that inclusive leadership capability is the key underpinning of our Firm’s future success. MinterEllison’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy covers the full spectrum of diversity in its broadest sense – Gender Equality, LGBTQ+ Inclusion, Disability Inclusion, Cultural Diversity and Reconciliation. We recognise the importance of intersectionality and consciously work to ensure that those of our people who identify with more than one element of the Diversity & Inclusion agenda are engaged and supported by the programs.
MinterEllison does not tolerate sexual harassment, discrimination, or bullying and has several workplace policies in place as well as mandatory training for all staff in order to address and prevent this kind of behaviour. The Firm also has policies relating to Domestic & Family Violence, Gender Affirmation in the Workplace, Parental Leave, Emergency Childcare and Agile & Alternative Work Arrangements.
MinterEllison is committed to the health and wellbeing of our people and the community, recognising that overall wellness is the cornerstone of sustained high performance. Our health and wellbeing program takes a holistic approach to wellness, by employing a wide range of initiatives designed to equip our people with health, safety and wellbeing strategies. Our people benefit from free gym membership, financial wellbeing information sessions, access to Employee Assistance Programs (also available to their families), and more.
MinterEllison has a comprehensive Learning and Development program, with Firm-wide initiatives at each career milestone designed to build the capability required to support our people to develop to their full potential within an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture. Mental health and wellbeing content included in all our career milestone programs for Vacation Clerks, Graduates, Associates, Senior Associates, new Partners and Business Operations teams. We also provide mental health management training to our Talent team annually.
We appreciate that it is a challenging time for students as they navigate the recruitment process in pursuit of graduate roles, particularly amidst the unusual circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic this year. We fully support and remain ongoing signatories to the LIV Clerkship and Traineeship Guidelines, which provide consistency and transparency in the graduate legal recruitment process and afford students the opportunity to make an informed decision when choosing between priority offers.
Inclusion & Diversity
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia is a firm that prides itself on being a diverse firm with an inclusive culture. We value difference and appreciate the variety of perspectives that this brings to our business. We know that diverse teams are more innovative and better at solving problems and this is an opportunity and a benefit for our clients. We aim to create an inclusive environment where everyone has a sense of belonging.
Our diversity & inclusion strategy focuses on five core pillars:
– Gender diversity: We aim to increase the number of senior women and to position Norton Rose Fulbright as the employer of choice for women in legal services in Australia. In 2020, our firm announced a new global aspirational 40:40:20 gender diversity target. In 2020, we were named yet again as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. (WGEA). Our flagship program is the Career Strategies Program for senior women who come together as a cohort for 4 x full days of workshops about advancing their career in the legal industry in addition to one on one executive coaching. This program helps us achieve our gender diversity targets and creates an even playing field for all. We are also a signatory to the Law Council Equitable Briefing Policy.
– Flexible & agile work: We encourage our people to take advantage of our formal flexible work arrangements including part time, remote working and job share arrangements as well as a combination of all. In addition we have adopted agile working for those wanting to incorporate ad-hoc and less formal flexible work practices into their day to day work schedule. The majority of our people now work remotely at least one to two days per week if their role allows for it.
– People with family and caring responsibilities: We have a generous parental leave policy which is gender neutral and inclusive for all types of parents – same sex couples, parents through surrogacy and adoption, for kinship and foster care parent arrangements also. We have partnered with Parents At Work to offer a comprehensive pre-parental leave program and return to work coaching for all parents and carers. In addition we have launched our first Carers Network to support our people who care for family members with disability or long term illness.
– LGBTIQ+ Inclusion: We have an established Pride Network and we are proud to be an official member of Pride in Diversity, Australia’s first and only not-for-profit workplace program designed specifically to assist employers with all aspects of LGBTIQ+ inclusion. In 2019 we were again named a silver employer in the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).
– Cultural Diversity: In March 2017, we signed the Cultural Diversity Initiative. This important initiative, supported by several other large law firms, involves a commitment to researching and reporting on cultural diversity at different levels of the business. Our aim is to increase the cultural and linguistic diversity within the firm. We have a cultural diversity think-tank that meets regularly to inform our strategy and programs on cultural diversity.
– Disability confidence: We aim to have a workforce that is disability confident to respond to the needs of our people. We have a Workplace adjustments policy to ensure we have the tools to quickly and appropriately respond to both requests from current and future employees who may need adjustments either at interview stage or as an employee with the firm.
All employees participate in regular training on topics such as Unconscious Bias and Active Inclusion in addition to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Sexual Harassment, Bullying and Harassment and Workplace Health & Safety (WHS).
Resilience, Mental Health & Wellbeing
Norton Rose Fulbright strives to cultivate a workplace where mental health is understood without stigma, where employee wellbeing is paramount and where both Norton Rose Fulbright and our people respond appropriately and effectively to mental health problems and challenges.
Our spectrum of interventions focuses on the following key areas:
– Awareness training: One of our guiding principles is to eliminate the stigma of mental illness through education and understanding. We deliver training and awareness sessions on a number of topics to increase mental health literacy and awareness. This includes a mandatory Resilience, Mental Health & Wellbeing the role of Partners and business leaders masterclass to ensure strong leadership in this space.
– Mental Health First Aid initiative: Norton Rose Fulbright Australia has established in each office a number of trained Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) officers. To date, we have over 70 officers who can provide support and information to all employees about common mental health problems and appropriate professional support options. For our pioneering work in this space we were awarded the 2013 MHFA Workplace Award.
– Thrive@NRFA: provides a suite of wellbeing services, including free coaching and confidential counselling for our people and their immediate family members. Through Thrive@NRFA we encourage individuals to take a proactive approach to their holistic wellbeing journey, enabling them to thrive in all areas of their personal and professional life.
– Our Resilience Box® wellbeing App is also available for both our people and their immediate family members and provides the tools to strengthen resilience through online learning modules and health and wellbeing videos, podcasts and factsheets. The Resilience Box® provides our people with the tools to navigate challenges and improve mental health.
– We engage industry experts, The Centre for Corporate Health, for psychological recovery support. This provides our people, leaders and People & Development teams with a full range of psychological rehabilitation services, specialising in not only assisting individuals to return to work and good mental health, but also to support employees at work who are experiencing mental health issues
– We have established a Resilience, Mental Health & Wellbeing committee made up of Partners across the firm who champion our work in this space
– Our Resilience, Mental Health & Wellbeing Policy and Intranet sites establish and communicate our commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of our people.
– We recognise and celebrate national and global events including R U Ok? Day and World Mental Health Week. This includes participation in the Australian legal industry’s ‘Look Deeper’ campaign with R U Ok? and creation of a ‘Stay well in the law’ video series in collaboration with the Black Dog Institute.
– We work with the Australian legal industry through Resilience@Law, a collaboration between major firms and The College of Law. Resilience@Law take a leadership role in raising awareness and understanding of the nature and impact of stress, depression and anxiety across the legal profession.
– We are proud signatory to the Workplace Wellbeing Guidelines (TJMF Psychological Wellbeing: Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession) a comprehensive set of resources designed to protect and promote psychological health and safety in the legal workplace
Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession
– We have an Appropriate Workplace Conduct policy and zero tolerance to all sexual harassment, gender based harassment, victimisation, bullying and discrimination. In addition to our policy and complaint procedures we have mandatory online training to support understanding and awareness across the partnership and the workforce.
– We have a group of trained Equal Employment Opportunity officers who act as support people for colleagues wishing to discuss any issues or incidents in addition to better understanding our policies and complaints procedures.
– Our Thrive@NRFA wellbeing program includes free confidential counselling for our people and their immediate family members. This service is provided by The Centre for Corporate Health, industry leaders in corporate wellbeing. Their team of senior psychologists are well positioned to support the mental health of those directly or indirectly affected by sexual harassment.
We are signatories to the LIV Guidelines for 2021. We treat all candidates who interview with us as employees of the firm, and ensure that our practices and policies are in place during every stage of your recruitment process with us.
At PwC we foster an inclusive culture which embraces differences – one that allows us to live our values every day, be ourselves and to feel empowered to realise and discover our potential. Because we know that when people from different backgrounds and different points of view work together they create the greatest value – for our business, our clients and society.
Creating equal opportunities for women
PwC is working hard to address issues of gender equality in the workplace. By empowering female career advancement we not only create gender equality, we also create more diversified workplace communities. This means we’re better equipped to solve society’s most significant problems because we are able to view them through the most holistic lens. This is why our community, both locally and globally, is committed to supporting all our people and to challenge the stereotypes experienced by people of all genders. We do this by actively addressing the barriers to equality and continuously creating an inclusive culture.
As a Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, we’re proud of the work we’re doing to achieve gender equality throughout our firm and are dedicated to ensuring all of our people (regardless of whether their unique differences are visible or not) are equally supported throughout their respective careers. In addition, our CEO Luke Sayers is a Male Champion of Change and a WGEA pay equity ambassador.
As the first Australian professional services firm to go public with our partner and employee gender pay gaps, we are proud to say that in like-for-like roles our gender pay gap is 0 per cent. In saying this, we recognise there is still a long way to go. We’re also transparent about our overall pay gap of 11% which we are actively working to reduce. We ensure all of our employees are fairly remunerated by maintaining a fair and unbiased process for all pay and promotion decisions.
Developing the next generation of female leaders and seeing more women take up leadership positions is important to us. We’ve set some of the most progressive targets out there and work hard to ensure the process when it comes to pay and promotion is both fair and unbiased.
We are committed to creating a culture where women are able to progress in their chosen careers without any fear, concern or guilt of competing family or personal demands. We have a number of benefits that help support this such as 18 weeks paid parental leave inclusive of all genders, adopters, foster carers, surrogacy and stillbirth, a domestic and family violence policy including unlimited paid leave, flexible work options, support for parents, female talent identification and sponsorship programs, ongoing coaching and inclusive leadership training.
Anyone can join our national employee-led gender equality network (Symmetry@PwC) which runs events and forums both within the firm and beyond to advance gender equality. This network facilitates the development of both men and women through opportunities that connect, inspire and empower.
Your health is your most important asset
We have a holistic approach to wellness and are committed to creating a culture that supports you, helping you to live life to the full and get the most out of each day. We aim to create an environment that regularly check-ins on health and wellbeing and actively works to dial up the dialogue on mental health. We know that when you feel your best both mentally and physically, only then can you reach your full potential.
Health & fitness benefits: We understand the importance of health and fitness and offer a number of perks including discounted memberships and up to $295 for activities that support wellness.
Wellness platform: Our dedicated wellness team provides information and support via our wellness platform, ‘Be Well’. This hub helps you in achieving your wellness goals by encouraging regular wellness checks to track progress, offering wellbeing programs and information, and by providing opportunities to participate in firm-wide wellbeing challenges.
C.A.R.E program: The C.A.R.E (Coaching, Advice, Resilience & Empowerment) program is a confidential and psychological well-being service provided free of charge to all staff and their immediate family members. Whether personal or work-related, C.A.R.E can be tailored to assist in resolving issues that can prevent you from being your best or impact your wellbeing and is an avenue for accessing confidential counselling and advice in times of need.
Flexible work: Our ‘All Roles Flex’ policy means you have the freedom to choose how, when and where you work to best suit your day. At PwC, we trust our people to work around their individual and client needs and provide the tools and movement to be able to truly do it. Whether that means you flex the hours in your day or choose to work remotely, PwC empowers you to work smarter and in a way that suits your lifestyle.