Australian firms lead the way on equal opportunities

A survey by the Australian Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency has revealed that, on average, women make up 16 per cent of partners in Australia’s leading law firms.


Australian law firms have a higher ratio of women in senior positions than many of the country’s leading corporations.

A survey by the Australian Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency has revealed that, on average, women make up 16 per cent of partners in Australia’s leading law firms. This compares to just 10 per cent of executive managers at the top Australian Stock Exchange listed companies.

President of the Australian Women Lawyers Association Jennifer Batrouney said law firms should be commended for promoting female solicitors, with many of the firms implementing more successful equal opportunity employment practices than their clients.

Allens Arthur Robinson does particularly well in the survey, with 65 per cent of corporate services management roles filled by women. However, only 14 per cent of the firm’s overall number of partners are female.

Women make up 16.9 per cent of the partnership at Blake Dawson Waldron, while 16.5 per cent of partners at Minter Ellison are female.

Maria Nadalin, external communications manager for Minter Ellison, said the firm had similarly positive figures across the range of management roles, with women making up 15.4 per cent of the partnership board and 16.6 per cent of national practice area director roles.

New Zealand law firm Chapman Tripp has also taken proactive steps to increase female partnerships, with 22 per cent of the firm’s partners and principals being female.