Cuningham Taylor has recently signed the New Zealand Law Society Gender Equality Charter which seeks to improve the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession. In signing this Charter, we have committed to leading from the top, making a plan and taking action on gender equality within our firm. The Charter’s commitments cover a wide range of matters such as encouraging and supporting flexible work hours for all lawyers, conducting annual gender pay audits to eliminate gender pay gaps and actively working to increase gender equality and inclusion in senior legal roles. We will measure our progress on these commitments and report this to the New Zealand Law Society every two years. In addition, we will share with the Law Society examples of practical approaches that Cuningham Taylor has taken to increase gender equality and inclusion.
Our four female partners constitute two thirds of Cuningham Taylor’s partnership and reflect our commitment to advancing and retaining women within the legal profession. In particular, Isabel Mitchell has had a long standing and influential presence at Cuningham Taylor and in the legal profession. She is a role model for both female lawyers entering the legal profession and for female lawyers seeking to advance their careers by taking on senior positions.
While the primary purpose of the Charter relates to gender equality, many of the Charter commitments seek to enhance diversity more broadly within the legal profession. For example, as part of our commitments under the Charter, Cuningham Taylor is implementing unconscious bias training for all of our lawyers to help them employ practical strategies to overcome and address unconscious bias within their work.
We are proud of Cuningham Taylor’s work towards gender equality and inclusion to date and will further enhance this through our commitment to the Charter.