How Gender Diverse are Law Firms in Australia?

The Women Lawyers’ Association of NSW (WLANSW) has recently published a data set comparing and contrasting 40 law firms in terms of gender diversity, particularly highlighting that some are achieving this better than others.

Thanks to new reporting requirements by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, more information about a greater range of law firms has been made public, including their workforce gender composition and their diversity and inclusion practices and policies.

The WLANSW’s report concludes the industry is moving slowly towards gender equality, but that there is still plenty of work to be done. While the proportion of female Senior Associates is high, with many firms reporting more than 50 per cent, the numbers for female Partners and female Equity Partners hardly reach 30 per cent.

The top five firms by percentage of female Partners are TressCox (41.7 per cent), Squire Patton Boggs (35 per cent), Lander & Rogers (34.2 per cent), Griffith Hack (33.3 per cent), and Maddocks (31.4 per cent).

The report identifies converting Senior Associates into Partners – particularly Equity Partners as the key challenge for the law industry to become more diverse. Other findings include the rising number of Partners working flexibly, as well as the slowly increasing number of men taking parental leave.

Though there is clearly still work to be done to reach true gender equality, the future looks optimistic for women in law, as the numbers of female Partners should continue to improve for years to come.

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