This International Women's Day, we want to highlight women's achievements and reinforce our commitment to equality. At Fieldfisher, we strive to be an inclusive and diverse firm, but we recognise the job is far from finished. Here are five actions we are taking to promote female talent.
- Raising awareness about gender equality
- Taking a stand against gender violence and promoting female empowerment
Sadly, we know that violence against women and girls continues to be a scourge on societies worldwide. We believe that as an organisation that deeply values its female talent, we have a duty to take a stand against this problem in all its guises. Earlier this year, under our WorkWell programme, we launched a Domestic Abuse Support Service that is available to all staff and is fully firm-funded. This is in partnership with Caroline Glass, an independent specialist and highly experienced domestic abuse advisor. Since August 2021, we have been working to evacuate women identified as being at high risk of attack under the Taliban regime from Afghanistan, including working with Shannon Galpin, an activist and volunteer, to evacuate the Afghan Women's Cycling Team. And in 2019, the firm launched 'Rooting for Change', our first reforestation programme. The firm and its staff funded the planting of over 6,500 trees in India. These trees will continue to mitigate our contribution to climate change, while delivering social benefits to a community through supporting forest-based livelihoods and women's cooperatives.
- Closing the gender pay gap
Like many other professions, law has some work to do to close its gender pay gap. While recruitment is one route to ensuring gender balance within our organisation, retention and promotion of employees to deliver equal gender balance at all levels of the firm is essential to achieving pay equality.
We work tirelessly to make Fieldfisher a place where women can develop their careers and remain with the firm long term. We prioritise gender HR policies and we believe our Menopause Support Policy and Neurodiversity Policy are pioneering schemes, alongside enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave benefits, and resourcing parents via the working parents' network.
We also work with clients to help broaden the conversation and promote gender pay equality. Read this blog by Ranjit Dhindsa, Fieldfisher's UK Head of Employment, Pensions, Immigration and Compliance, about the business case for diverse workplace cultures, and this piece by pensions partner Jeremy Harris about why differences in gender pay rates create lasting imbalances in people's lifetime incomes and economic freedoms.
- Celebrating women's achievements
It is important to celebrate and acknowledge women's achievements as studies suggest creating support programs tailored for women sees them emerge as confident individuals and business leaders.
- Keeping the issue alive
While days like IWD are helpful reminders that the campaign for gender parity is far from over, we work to ensure this issue remains front of mind at all times. Our internal Women at Work network and our regular series of talks, networking events and educational sessions with external organisations such as Women in Real Estate, Women in Mining and Women in FinTech help us to keep the discussion going about how we can continue to improve the position of women in our firm, our profession and society as a whole.
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