Clayton Utz named Gold Employer for LGBTI inclusion; brings forward female partner target

31 May 2018

Sydney, 31 May 2018: Clayton Utz continues to make significant progress with its initiatives to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace, again being the only law firm to be named a Gold Employer at the 2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards announced in Sydney on 25 May.

This is the second consecutive year Clayton Utz has qualified for the prestigious Gold Employer status, which recognises those organisations making the biggest impact in building more inclusive workplaces as measured against the Pride in Diversity's Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI).

Clayton Utz's LGBTI inclusion initiatives include LGBTI awareness training, best practice policies to support employees who identify as LGBTI, and community advocacy, including supporting marriage equality. The firm also provides pro bono legal support to LGBTI individuals and charities.

Gender diversity is another priority area for Clayton Utz, with the firm setting a new target date of 2022 for achieving 35 percent representation of women in the partnership. The new target reflects the firm's progress to date against its original target of 35 percent by 2025. Since 2014, Clayton Utz has increased its female partner numbers from 18 percent to 27 percent.

Clayton Utz Chief Executive Partner (CEP) Rob Cutler said bringing forward the target by three years reflects the firm's efforts to change the way it identifies, develops and sponsors future partnership talent, and sets partners up for success.

"When we set the target of 35 percent of women in our partnership by 2025, female partners made up 18 percent of our total partner numbers, and our female partner attrition rate was running at double our male partner attrition rate," said Rob. "We knew this was unsustainable and we needed to identify why this was the case, and what we needed to do to address this."

Clayton Utz CEP - People and Development Kate Jordan said as a result of speaking to both current and former female and male partners, the firm made several changes and introduced new initiatives to support the path to partnership.

"These changes included a more transparent process for identifying future partnership talent; new programs for talent development and greater support for partners in the earlier stages of their careers; formal mentoring, sponsorship and coaching programs, and; encouraging and supporting greater uptake of flexible work practices for all our partners and employees."

Kate said the changes have had a positive impact not only on the firm's female partner numbers, but across the whole firm. "Our female partner attrition rate has also reduced significantly and the promotion of women to partnership has, in recent years, been more closely aligned with the percentage of women at the senior lawyer ranks."

Rob said he was proud of Clayton Utz's progress to date towards being a more inclusive and diverse workplace. "The senior leadership team has made diversity and inclusion a key strategic priority for the firm. We know we have a way to go to address the historical gender imbalance in our partnership, but we're making progress and we'll continue to do so."

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