Media Release: Clayton Utz welcomes Minderoo Foundation's Generation One initiative to close the gap in Indigenous Employment

02 Jun 2022
Time to read: 1.5 minutes

Clayton Utz welcomes the launch of the first ever Indigenous Employment Index, an initiative of The Minderoo Foundation's Generation One, as a valuable step in helping Australian employers to take deliberate and meaningful action to increase the number of Indigenous employees in their workforces.

Clayton Utz is one of 42 employers that participated in the research study which produced the Index, providing a snapshot of Indigenous workplace representation, practices, and employee experiences.

On Thursday 26 May we hosted Caitlin Leslie, a proud Noongar woman (an Indigenous Employment Manager, Generation One) and Liz Griffin (Head of Indigenous Employment, Generation One) in our Sydney office to share the results of the Index, and outline what workplaces such as ours can do to accelerate progress toward Indigenous employment parity. They highlighted the importance of actions such as setting robust Indigenous employment targets and actively taking steps to retain current Indigenous employees.

The Index measures the progress to date of participating employers (representing 700,000 employees or approximately 5% of Australia's total workforce) in five over-arching areas: Commitment and Accountability, Workplace Culture & Inclusion, Attraction and Recruitment, Engagement and Development, Partnerships and Community.

Among initiatives we have undertaken in these areas (and as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan) we are partnering with CareerTrackers and universities to offer internships to Indigenous employees, and during National Reconciliation Week, we will launch our CU First Nations Traineeship. The Traineeship offers an opportunity for current First Nations law students to participate in a structured learning program providing practical exposure to one of our national practice groups on a casual basis to assist with ongoing client matters and projects. We also continue to run cultural capability training for our people and are working with our Community Partner, Waalitj Foundation, to further strengthen our engagement with our First Nations employees.

Our Chief Executive Partner Bruce Cooper said the Index was valuable in showing employers exactly what actions - as based on the perspectives and experiences of Indigenous employees - would help achieve employment parity.

We know from experience the power of collective action and shared experiences in making real progress towards a goal - in this case, Indigenous employment parity within a generation. There's a lot more we can, and will, do in our own firm to help and I encourage the legal profession as a whole to play its part.

Clayton Utz Foundation and Pro Bono Practice

In FY21, the Clayton Utz Foundation made over $140,000 in grants to projects supporting First Nations peoples, and we procured over $500,000 in goods and services from First Nations businesses. Our Pro Bono practice also assisted 101 First Nations people and organisations.

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