Tag Archives: working parent

Pressing for progress: Making law a family friendly profession

Sally Macindoe

Traditionally, the law industry has been notorious for its unfamily-friendly workplace practices, which have particularly penalised mothers in need of flexibility  from reaching their full career potential. But times are changing, the ‘old’ model of practising law is being disrupted (and not just by technology).

The ‘exclusivity’ status quo is being challenged and a new ‘inclusive’ culture is being championed by some progressive firms determined to help shape a brave new world within their industry – a world where practising law and parenthood at the same time (and being supported to do so) is the new ‘norm’. This simple shift in culture, policy and attitude is helping elevate women into leadership roles and contributing to tackling gender inequality.

I recently interviewed Sally Macindoe, Partner and Global Head of Diversity for international firm Norton Rose Fulbright about her own personal experience and what the firm is doing to help their people manage career and caring responsibilities so they can thrive in all areas of life. Sally suggests there is an opportunity to “look at the innovative ways that structurally change the way we practice law that will create a more inclusive environment which provides options for people that need to work in different ways.”

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Supporting Working Parents – it’s time to act. Australia Human Rights Commission website to help employers and parents

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Spurred by shocking statistics last year that exposed 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men experience discrimination during pregnancy, parental leave and the return to work period [1] the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has responded by launching a website for employers and employees to understand their legal obligations and entitlements better.

The new Government website – Supporting Working Parents – has been developed to help bridge the ‘gap between the law and education, and proper implementation’[2] of policies and practices that support employees with caring responsibilities.

The website includes “a compilation of leading practices and strategies being implemented in workplaces around the country to retain and support talented women and working parents,” said Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

At the launch, employers were commended on their intention to ‘do the right thing’ but it was highlighted that many simply ‘don’t know what to do’ and ‘need guidance’.

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