28 October 2021
AALA welcomes the launch of the NSW Law Society's (NSWLS) Cultural Diversity Guidance outlining steps that law firms and legal workplaces can take to become more culturally diverse and inclusive.
The Guidance outlines a variety of methods that workplaces can adopt to proactively the culture, practices and policies of a workplace:
Commit to cultural diversity
Measure cultural diversity
Recruit widely and reduce barriers to entry
Brief widely and look for opportunities to support cultural diversity in the wider community
Develop an inclusive culture
The NSW Branch President, Marija Gurlica sits on the NSWLS Diversity and Inclusion Committee. As a representative of AALA and a fervent advocate for intersectional diversity, Marija says:
A key agenda item for 2021 was to publish a guide that focuses on promoting the conversation of cultural diversity in the legal profession. The 2021 NSWLS President, Juliana Warner attended many Diversity and Inclusion Committee Meetings and was a relentless and passionate driver to have the Guidance drafted and published. Ms Warner was very supportive of the Guidance and kept our project as a key priority throughout the year. The year was challenging and much of our work was completed during the pandemic lockdown, online and of course, with a deadline. The Committee worked diligently and was keen to have a simple Guidance published that could serve as a foundation or 'starting point' to not only begin conversations but help workplaces begin taking action. We hope to only build on the Guidance as the years continue.
Iona Luke, a member of AALA and of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the NSWLS, said:
I am proud to see AALA contributing to such an important piece that is championed by the NSWLS. I look forward to seeing AALA continue to support efforts that promote diversity in the legal profession.
The AALA National Vice President, Molina Asthana was also interviewed on SBS Radio on the launch of this Guide. Molina says:
I welcome the guide as a step in the right direction and hope that it will assist law practitioners and firms in addressing the issue of lack of diversity in the legal profession which is clearly demonstrated by the statistics reported in the Guide. The guidance provided to firms should enable them to implement practical measures but it is equally important that there is a level of accountability attached to the implementation by way of measurable outcomes.
The SBS Radio interview can be accessed here.
The NSWLS published this Media Release here and the Guidance can be accessed on the NSWLS website or below.