Australian law firm Holding Redlich announced in early September, it has further strengthened its goal for gender equality and flexible working arrangements by rolling out a suite of new initiatives and relaunching its Gender Equality Strategy, Flexible Working Arrangements Policy and Gender Equality Policy.
Key initiatives outlined in the policies include ‘The Parenting Partner program’, which aims to ensure there is a senior and influential representative in each of the firm’s three offices who can offer assistance on issues including return to work options and working from home options.
Alongside this initiative is the firm’s ‘Stay in Touch program’. Designed for employees on parental leave, it allows them to still be included in firm events and activities, such as marketing and social functions, as well as staying connected and receiving advice on returning to work.
Outlined in the Gender Equality Strategy, Holding Redlich says partners and senior business services managers will be required, as part of their performance reviews, to report to the firm’s national managing partner and CEO on what they are doing to successfully enhance flexible work arrangements within their teams.
The firm said that in order to help relaunch the policies, senior workplace partner Charles Power would provide training and advice to other partners and managers of the firm.
National head of human resources Helen Ayres said she was pleased to see the relaunch of the strategy and associated policies.
“Holding Redlich has a strong track record of supporting such initiatives and this is demonstrated by the fact we have received the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s employer of choice citation for nine years in a row,” Ayres said.
“But it is important that we continue to progress, and I am pleased that the partners of the firm, and in particular our national managing partner Ian Robertson, have been supportive of these initiatives.”
Robertson noted the firm’s commitment to gender equality and flexible working arrangements has had a profound impact on staff.
"In May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported the gender pay gap for professional, scientific and technical services was 24.3% in favour of males, whereas Holding Redlich’s current gender pay gap is 4.77%,” Robertson said.
“While we are eager to continue to build on our efforts, we are pleased to note that we have decreased our gender pay gap significantly from 2013-14 when it stood at 14.98%.”
Robertson said a significant number of the firm’s staff already have a flexible working arrangements in place.
“Currently, nearly a third of our female partners work flexibly, and so do a quarter of our other employees, including non-partner legal staff, legal support, business services and management.”
Image sourced from Flickr cc: Cory M.Greiner