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.