13 BACK TO NAVIGATION 2017 AusLSA Member Performance The 2017 reporting results show that almost all members surveyed are taking a strategic approach to improving gender equality in their workplaces. Most significantly ninety-one percent of respondents have a gender equality policy which is up from eighty four percent last year. Ninety-seven percent have a partner, manager or committee responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy. There is also strong evidence that leaders and leadership teams were taking additional public responsibility for their firm’s performance on pay equality with fifty-nine percent advising that their Managing Partner’s had become WGEA Pay Equality Ambassadors (up from forty-eight percent in 2016). AusLSA members who are WGEA Employers of Choice for Gender Equality increased from fifty-two percent to fifty-nine percent in 2017. The WGEA Employers of Choice for Gender Equality is a stringent citation providing evidence of a committed, holistic approach to gender equality. This year all our firms were asked to provide gender ratios for Partners, legal staff and non-legal staff. The overall results also show that although women are fifty-nine percent of the legal staff, they are only thirty-one percent of equity partners. The results for the legal profession are strong in comparison to similar professions. For example, the professional services sector also has an equal representation of women and men across their employee base but fewer women are appointed to senior management levels, with only seventeen percent in key management positions. Challenges and Opportunities The 2017 results show that although women represent fifty-nine percent of the legal staff, they occupy only thirty-one percent of partner positions. While this may be partially due to lags between the growth in female numbers and the building of required experience and seniority for promotion, there is little doubt historical imbalances in equality of opportunity are also a significant factor. If this disparity is mostly due to this historical legacy, and if the firm’s equality policies continue to be implemented and monitored we should see a continued improvement in these numbers over time. Law Council of Australia survey National Attrition and Reengagement Survey found a higher rate of attrition of women in law firms and highlighted the need to address a range of priority changes to address the causes including • Career path transformation • Leadership and role modelling • Relationships and support • Workplace safety • Transparency and measures of success. The process recommended by the Work Place Gender Equality Agency and detailed in their Gender Strategy Toolkit: 1. Analyse – Understand the firms gender equality status- Conduct a gender pay gap analysis and understand gender pay gaps – Assess barriers to women progressing to leadership roles 2. Design – Identify the best interventions and set targets to address the identified inequalities 3. Implement – Develop and deliver action plans 4. Review – Regularly assess the effectiveness of actions against targets and review the impacts on the identified barriers – Modify and update the design and implementation of the strategy to respond, and consider new opportunities. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Female Non-Legal Staff Female Legal Staff Female Partners TARGETS GENDER PROFILE 8% 21% 4% No Yes Not Reported