The LawFuel A gender survey of New Zealand’s largest law firms shows a welcome and continued improvement in gender parity among the largest firms, although gender imbalance in the profession remains a persistent problem.
There are more women in the law than ever before, with nearly 54% of New Zealand’s more than 15,500 lawyers being women, a figure that has increased by 10% over the past 10 years. the lack of women to get a partnership and gender parity in law firms has been a recurring problem for many years.
In our latest survey, in 2020, we saw an increase in the percentage of women partners in law firms, despite the New Zealand legal profession having previously recorded the largest gender pay gap in all others in the country.
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In 2018, the NZME’s YUDU survey revealed some reasonably depressing statistics on the gender gap in the legal profession. The gap persists, although increasing levels of promotion for women have slowly closed it.
The number of CEOs of large companies who are women remains low (as below), remaining at less than a third of the largest companies, which was four years ago when the Law Society released the figures.
In 2018, the number of female associates at the top 20 companies was just over 28% of the total number of associates and that figure isn’t much higher today when several of the top companies don’t disclose. the number of female associates who are also shareholders. sharing, a sure sign of gender parity.
The situation regarding women in the law in other countries has been grim. In 2018, women made up less than 20% of equity partners at major US law firms. And women earned less too, earning 85 cents on the “male” dollar.
There is no doubt that gender parity is a key factor in staff recruitment and retention, apart from obvious equity considerations.
A recent Australian report by online recruiter SEEK showed that 73% of Gen Z women said diversity in the workplace was a “must” when deciding on a new job. Nearly 40% of Gen Z women said they would favor an employer that had women in leadership positions.
A recent US commentary by partner Ann Olivarius (right) contained a number of suggestions on what law firms should do to promote women’s interests and recognize their talents.
No more hiding – Companies must agree to waive the use of nondisclosure agreements and private arbitration for internal complaints of sexual discrimination and harassment, unless specifically requested by the complainant.
She noted that women who experience discrimination should file a formal complaint and, if necessary, take legal action. “Both are terrible experiences, as I know from my own charge of brave women and from my own early experiences in the workplace. But we have to help each other, and airing sexist dirty laundry is a painful but necessary step.
Equal pay announcements – MinterEllisonRuddWatts recently announced its pay gap reporting scale, the first New Zealand law firm to do so. Law firms must publish annual gender audits of salaries, positions, opportunities offered and plans to correct the gaps.
Include women in management – Several major law firms include women leaders in their top line and in New Zealand most major law firms have made this move, which we believe is more than an attempt to signal virtuous to repair previous shortcomings.
Among the “ladies leaders” are Sarah Sinclair (Minters), Jennifer Cauldwell (Buddle Findlay), Anne Callinan (Simpson Grierson) and Bell Gully had Anna Buchly for two years as managing partner, Emma Sutcliffe, chairman of the board of directors of wellingtons.
Male management styles remain the norm in most businesses globally and management should be more inclusive which also leads to a more inclusive and profitable business.
Long before Covid-19, female lawyers struggled to balance work and family – their male colleagues relied on their wives – and so demanded reduced hours and flexible working hours. But women need something else: equity at home with children, cooking and cleaning. Tell the guys in your company to become men by acting more like a mother. Make flexible working work for them too.
New Zealand Gender Survey Ranking
As with previous rankings in the surveys, we’ve ranked by stock ranking to reflect an accurate picture of where partnerships with larger companies really are.
Some haven’t provided this information, but times are certainly changing in favor of a capital-only partnership structure, compared to a few years ago when a significant number of large corporations had employee partners with no capital.
The ranking again shows Anderson Lloyd in the lead. All firm figures are rounded to the nearest percentage and are taken as of June 30, 2022.
In addition to being at the top of the charts for gender equality, Anderson Lloyd also has a very high overall female rate of 80%.
Dentons Kensington Swan is one percentage point behind and has consistently demonstrated strong efforts to achieve gender diversity, with 60% of the board being women.
Buddle Findlay increased the ratio of women on the board to 50% under the leadership of National President Jennifer Cauldwell.
Interestingly, the three largest companies in New Zealand’s Golden Triangle of Best Companies, Chapman Tripp, Russell McVeagh and Bell Gully, all sit within one percentage point of each other and all have an equity stake. complete between the partners.
We have provided a comparison from the 2019 rankings for equity partnerships compared to the current figures.
The LawFuel NZ Law Firm Gender Survey 2022
|Solidify||Total number of partners||Female partners (capital participation)||2019 % Ranking|
|1||Anderson Lloyd – 41%||27||11||32|
|2||Dentons Kensington Swan – 40%||35||14||33|
|3||Simpson Grierson – 35%||43||15||26|
|4=||Russell McVeagh – 33%||43||14||31|
|4=||Chapman Tripp- 33%||54||18||22|
|5||Bell Gully – 32 percent||44||14||22|
|6||Meredith Connell* – 31%||34||13||28|
|seven||Buddle Findlay – 30%||47||14||26|
|8||Lane Neave** – 20%||25||5||n / A|
|9||AWSLegal*** – 19%||16||3||n / A|
*Meredith Connell have 38 per cent female partners (13 women) but social partners represent 31 per cent.
**Lane Neave 25 partners including 12 partners, including five women (41%).
***AWSLegal have 16 partners including 7 women and 3 partners.
Cavell Leitch is not on the list as an incorporated law firm with 15 directors of which eight are women (53%), but with four directors sharing shares, one is a woman (25%).
Top Law Firms Withholding Stock Split Details
Among the large companies that do not disclose information about their financial partners are Duncan Cotterill who have 15 female partners out of a workforce of 48, (31 percent) but did not disclose how many are in equity splits.
DLPiper has seven of 19 (37 percent) female partners, but told us they do not publicly report partners’ equity status. In 2019, however, the percentage of women sharing shares was 38%, which, if it were the same this year, would place DLA Piper in third place in the rankings.
Tomkins Wake was unable to provide information for the investigation, although the 2020 figures for the company have female partners sharing the capital at 12% (3 partners). The firm now has 27 partners, including 11 women (41%).
MinterEllisonRuddWatts has 34% female partners (16/47), but told us they did not share the equity status of female partners as “partner compensation information”, indicating that all female partners business partners do not share equity.
Not sharing the equity stake in the company is a disappointment given that MinterEllisonRuddWatts recently made the decision to be the first to provide its pay gap report. It also has a female president, Sarah Sinclair.
Anthony Harper did not respond to the survey this year as it did in our last survey on this issue. The firm has 33 partners, eight of whom are women (24%).
A century to catch up. .
Gender parity will typically take 132 years to advance in work, health and politics globally, according to this year’s World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report.
Research from 146 countries found that by 2022 the gap had been closed by 68%, but the pandemic has hindered further improvement.
Iceland retained its crown for the 12th consecutive year as the ‘most gender equal country’, closing 90.8% of its parity gap, followed by Finland (86%), Norway (84 .5%) and New Zealand (84.1%). Australia ranked 43rd (73.8%).
The report highlighted that women’s participation in the labor market has been affected by the pandemic, with gender parity worldwide at its lowest level since 2006.
For law firms, an Australian report shows nearly 60% of millennial women said gender diversity was a “must have” when choosing an employer.
Recruitment and retention of lawyers is one of the major issues facing law firms and there is no doubt that diversity and gender parity is a key determinant for lawyers wishing to work for a law firm. particular lawyers.
Who should be on the Power Law 2022 list? – Give us your opinion
LawFuel is preparing to publish our annual Power List of New Zealand’s most powerful lawyers in 2022.
We welcome readers’ comments on influential players in New Zealand law. The Power List 2021 can be viewed at this link.
Who should be on the list? Email us at [email protected] suggestions as to which ones should be added, deleted, or moved up or down.
Or you can send your suggestions via this link.