Okay, so working in a large law firm means you burn way beyond the midnight – and you get reasonably good pay to go with the endless hours – but what else do they offer their staff?
Russell McVeagh’s first Corporate Responsibility Report is all about sustainability, staff engagement and other matters, but it also shows what the other benefits are on offer from one of New Zealand’s largest law firms.
The firm’s report shows it has increased “staff engagement” by 25 per cent and remains within the top 10 per cent of all firms in New Zealand.
The actual percentage of female staff members has remained reasonably static over the same period, falling from 57 per cent in 2014 to 55 per cent last year.
However the firm’s ongoing “diversity project” is designed to increase diversity across the board – and across the firm.
Among the initiatives taken, which is common to several top firms, are –
- flexible working hours
- a parental leave scheme that permits three months’ paid parental leave for all staff
- practice group diversity
- Maori and Pacifica workshops
- Anti bullying and unconscious bias programmes.
As with some other firms, such as Simpson Grierson, the firm has the “Rainbow Tick” which is designed to make the firm welcome to gender diversity and other issues.
The ‘transformational leadership programme at the firm is designed to support and embed the firm’s diversity work and to lift performance and engagement.
As firm partner Pip Greenwood (right) says, “Our leadership programme is unlike anything we’ve run in the past. It is about emotional leadership and forging authentic connections with the rest of the partnership, our teams and also our clients.
“It has the potential to transform our culture for the better”.
Diversity and sustainability questions have become increasingly important for many firms, intent on developing their appearance of diversity and increasing acceptance of minorities, be their ethnic, religious or sexual.
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