31 October 2014: Clayton Utz congratulates Canberra partner Jennifer Wyborn on being named Young Business Woman of the Year at the 2014 Telstra ACT Business Women's Awards, announced this week.
Jennifer recently joined the national Clayton Utz Workplace Relations and Safety team from Meyer Vanderberg Lawyers, where she led the Employment and Industrial Relations and Safety practice.
Jennifer has carved out an impressive career in the decade since she was admitted to practice. She has held a range of positions including: Commonwealth prosecutor, judge's associate, in-house government lawyer and private sector lawyer and partner. She is active in the community, having served as Secretary of the ACT and Regional Women's Centre for several years, and as pro bono co-ordinator at her previous firm. In 2006 Jennifer chose to specialise in employment law "because of the way the employment relationship critically influences people's lives," said Jennifer.
Among the highlights of Jennifer's career to date are leading the legal team involved in the Federal Equal Remuneration Test Case for Social and Community Services Workers. Her work on this matter led to her winning the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations Secretary's Award for Excellence.
The Telstra Business Women's Awards judges said Jennifer exhibited exceptionally strong professional behaviour and values, proven results of high achievement and highly developed leadership and communication skills.
Jennifer said the values of fairness and justice, as well as excellence, were the critical drivers of her success. "Whether it is achieving justice and fairness in terms of access to entitlements through my work on the Federal Equal Remuneration Test Case, fairness in my treatment of staff or providing access to justice for individual employees I represent, fairness and justice have always been critical drivers in the work I do and the way I run my business," she said.
"On a professional level, I would like to encourage individuals and businesses to see employment law as a tool that can be used to create a better and more productive workplace. I see education and information as key to this. For example, as a partner at Meyer Vanderberg, in partnership with the Master Builders Association ACT, I came up with the idea of an iPhone app that will give employers and unions in the ACT ready access to information on how to manage right of entry disputes, a critical issue in the construction industry.
"I would also like to help educate young women in the profession that they can build a successful career in the law and have a family, as I have. There are so many talented women in the law and other disciplines who for a range of reasons feel inhibited in achieving their full potential. I'm pleased that Clayton Utz is taking direct action to increase the number of women in their partnership. We need to recognise and work towards greater diversity as a key driver of business success."