A Diverse and Inclusive Workforce
Diversity at Clayton Utz includes diversity of thought, background, experience, personal circumstances, education, religion, sexuality, gender, age, ethnicity and ability/disability. That diversity helps to generate new ideas, creates more effective teams and relationships, and is key to attracting, developing and retaining the very best people.
We want to make Clayton Utz an environment in which women have every opportunity to succeed. We have a detailed Gender Strategy and Action Plan and our initiatives include setting gender targets and our national women’s network called Momentum. Clayton Utz is a Workplace Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice for Gender Equality.
Flexibility is an absolute priority and we have a dedicated National Flexibility Manager. Flexible work practices are important to our male and female employees and are not simply about part-time work or caring for children. A flexible work environment is vital for our employees to be able to balance their unique and changing needs during different life and career stages.
Clayton Utz has an exciting LGBTI Program to maximise opportunities for our people to achieve business success and career satisfaction regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. We are an active member of Pride in Diversity (the Australian employer support program) and strive for a best practice workplace through the AWEI annual benchmarking exercise. In May 2017 we were awarded AWEI Gold Employer status - the only law firm in this category.
We want Clayton Utz to be a culturally sophisticated firm that maximises domestic and regional business benefits through outstanding cultural intelligence. We're talking with thought leaders around cultural diversity, gathering and reporting data on cultural diversity and focusing on professional development for cultural diversity and inclusive leadership. We are proud to be an active member of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association and in March 2017 we committed to the Managing Partners (of large law firms) Cultural Diversity Charter.
Accessibility and Inclusion
The mental health and psychological wellbeing of our workforce is something we take seriously at Clayton Utz. This is why we offer a range of resources to help our people whenever they need it, and we regularly look for new ways to support and develop the resilience of our people. We are taking steps towards inclusion for people with other disabilities including the development and implementation of a Workplace Adjustment Policy and our membership of the Australian Network on Disability (AND).
I have been at CU for 10 years now, and put simply, I would not be here without the ability to work flexibly. I love work, but I also want to be very involved with my children, as well as assisting at the school and local community. So for me, I want to work part-time.
But flexible work arrangements should not just be for people who have children. I know a part-time lawyer who focuses on art on their day off.
And you don't have to be part-time to have flexibility. Our group tries to give people flexibility when needed. For example, I had a graduate who lectured at uni, so flexibility meant juggling his working day so he could leave quite early at least once a week.
Dr Ashley Tsacalos
My name is Dr Ashley Tsacalos, and I am a partner in our national Public Sector Group.
I have worked flexibly since May 2011, when my daughter was six weeks old. This coincided with my wife returning to work to her small business. My wife owns a martial arts school (and is a 4th degree black belt in Hapkido) and, as a result, I leave the office at 4pm twice a week to look after my two children while my wife teaches Hapkido. I feed, bathe and put them to bed then log on after they fall asleep and continue working from home.
I consider myself very fortunate to live in an age where I can work flexibly thanks, to a large extent, to technology. I get the opportunity to spend at least two evenings during the working week with my children which I thoroughly look forward to.
I consider myself to be very fortunate to work for a firm such as Clayton Utz that strongly supports and encourages flexible working arrangements.