Mallesons Stephen Jaques, a leading law firm in the Asian region, has signed up to a UN global initiative promoting gender diversity and equality in business.
The UN Women's Empowerment Principles are designed to engage with corporations around the globe and focus on seven core features:
Mallesons hosted a lunch for clients to celebrate the signing of the UN Women's Empowerment Principles, at which UN Women's Assistant Secretary General, Ms Lakshmi Puri, was guest of honour. Ms Puri is the most senior representative of this office to visit Australia.
Ms Puri, who has 37 years’ experience in economic and development policy as well as in political, peace and security and human rights-related diplomacy, said that those companies who signed up to the principles were demonstrating smart business and that the UN was seeking to partner with Australian businesses with interests across the globe, to make a difference.
Mallesons Chief Executive Partner, Robert Milliner, gave the keynote address to an audience of key clients and stakeholders, including Diversity Council Australia. He said: "What gets measured gets done. We have signed up to help us challenge ourselves, ensure best practice, test actions, track progress and be held accountable. Gender equality is good for business and we are excited and determined to fulfil our promise".
Mallesons Head of Diversity, Neil Cockroft, added that the Principles represent a valuable addition to the firm's gender diversity strategy, and will help drive change.
"They are a credible framework for discussion and agreement about where we should focus our efforts. Some of our current and planned diversity initiatives, such as addressing unconscious bias and the potential role of gender targets, already respond to some of the Principles. For some others, there is more to do.
"Importantly, being a signatory to the Principles sends a strong signal to our staff, our clients, and our community partners that we are committed to achieving full gender equality in our firm. I hope that more Australian businesses will make that commitment in the future," Mr Cockroft said.
UN Women's Executive Director (Australia), Julie McKay also attended the signing.
Further recognising Mallesons' support of diversity in the workplace, in 2011 the firm became one of the first Australian law firms to launch a diversity survey for all staff. In the same year, the firm was named an Employer of Choice by ALB Magazine and was recognised as an EOWA Employer of Choice for Women for the fifth consecutive year.
More information: Annelise Cleary, Communications Manager: +61 9296 3758, +61 415 178 442
Elle QuinnCommunications ManagerT +61 2 9296 3730
M +61 424 168 080