The Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW on 26 March 2019 hosted a panel discussion event on mentoring diversity at King & Wood Mallesons with the Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan, the Honourable Justice Melissa Perry of the Federal Court of Australia, the Honourable Judge Richard Weinstein SC of the District Court of NSW and Ms Yen Hui Tie, General Counsel of AMP Capital, moderated by Ms Katrina Rathie, Partner in Charge of King & Wood Mallesons, Sydney.
The importance of the panel discussion is notable not only because the promotion of diversity and inclusion is fundamentally a human rights issue, but because of the timing of recent tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, only a fortnight ago. Our deepest condolences were extended to the Muslims and New Zealanders in our communities.
Prior to the panel event, a Roundtable of the Managing Partners Forum and representatives of key legal industry bodies was held to discuss the results of the Law Firm Cultural Diversity Survey which will be released shortly.
The business case for taking an inclusion approach that does not focus on only one aspect of diversity at a time has never been stronger. The 2017 Diversity Council of Australia report ‘Cracking the Glass-Cultural Ceiling: Future Proofing Your Business in the 21st Century’ found that companies in the top quartile of racial/ethnic diversity in leadership teams are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their national industry median. The report additionally found that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above industry medians. The beneficial returns for companies and workplaces who manage to encapsulate the benefits of all aspects of diversity at once are yet to be achieved by anyone.
The Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW has a zero tolerance of discrimination of any kind. We will continue to work towards ensuring that our profession is representative of our communities. We must all actively take steps to educate ourselves about unconscious bias, and embrace and accept the diversity in our communities, so that diversity and inclusion becomes a way of life for all Australians.
Alice Yang, Diversity Subcommittee Chair, 02 9230 1500 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn McKenzie, Executive Officer, 0466 157 087 email@example.com
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