Women at G+T
(Video: 100 Years of Women in NSW Law)
At Gilbert + Tobin, we are continuously introducing new initiatives to further accelerate our progress towards building a diverse and inclusive workforce.
We are committed to building a gender equal firm, addressing economic inequality for women and embracing the future of work.
We have developed a number of professional development programs specifically designed to inform, support and inspire women at all levels of the firm. Recognising that each woman has distinct aspirations, roles and values, we have a range of flexible working arrangements and support structures available, including best-practice parental leave entitlements policy, part-time and job share opportunities, flexible working hours, return-to-work support and an on-site family room. All employees have access to a ‘work from home IT kit’ to enable greater flexibility in how people manage their personal commitments with the needs of clients.
Gilbert + Tobin has a depth of female talent: approximately one third of our partners are female, women account for around 64% of our total employee numbers, with many taking advantage of one of our flexible working arrangements, including a number of our partners. Recently the firm announced a new target to increase the representation of women in its partnership to 40% by 2023, as a critical step towards becoming a gender-balanced partnership.
However, statistics are only part of the story. Many of our women hold leadership positions in the firm as Group and People Leaders and members of the Gilbert + Tobin Board:
- Sheila McGregor is the Group Leader for Technology + Digital and is a member of the Board. Sheila is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Chamber of Commerce. Sheila was the President of the Royal Hospital for Women's Foundation, Randwick, NSW (until October 2014).
- Kate Harrison is a partner in the Disputes + Investigations team and holds a joint position with Colleen Platford on the Board.
- Elizabeth Avery is the People Leader for Competition + Regulation.
- Dianne Banks is the Disputes + Investigations Group People Leader and co-chairs the People Leaders Group, a group of partners and senior managers who focus specifically on people initiatives and the people strategy of the firm.
Several other Gilbert + Tobin women also contribute to the community.
- Partner Janet Whiting is the current President of the Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria, the first woman to hold the position in the Gallery’s 154 year history. In 2015, Janet was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the community through the arts, health and major events sectors and as a legal professional and was inducted onto the 2015 Victorian Honour Roll of Women by the Premier of Victoria. In September 2015, Janet was named one of Australia’s 10 Most Influential Women in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards and won the category for Culture.
- Partner Moya Dodd is a former Australian team representative with the Matildas and is the first Australian woman to be appointed to the FIFA Executive Committee, serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Asian Football Confederation, Board Member of Football Federation Australia, member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport and named 2016 overall winner of the AFR’s Top 100 Women of Influence.
- Partner Michelle Hannon is a director of the National Pro Bono Resource Centre and is a former director of the Public Interest Law Clearing House.
- Partner Gina Cass-Gottlieb was appointed by the Commonwealth Treasurer as a director on the Reserve Bank Payment Systems Board. Gina is also a board member of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation and of the Advisory Board Graduate Program in Competition Law, Melbourne Law School.
- Bernadette Jew, Consultant, is President of the Management Committee and Foundation Committee for the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra (SCO). Comprised of 60 professional musicians, the SCO is dedicated to new orchestral compositions.
G+T’s ongoing efforts to increase opportunities for talented women to build rewarding long-term careers and at the same time empower both women and men to better balance their work and family commitments has received strong endorsement from external organisations such as WGEA, The Diversity Council and The Women Lawyers Association of NSW (WLAN). In a recent report WLANSW named G+T as a “gold firm” in its ranking of the best firms for women and those taking pay equity action that WLANSW considers will drive real change.
Gilbert + Tobin also supports disadvantaged women in the community through our pro bono and corporate social responsibility programs, including contributing to the Dress for Success program.
To celebrate the First 100 Years of Women in Law, The Law Society of New South Wales has released in 2018 a commemorative video charting the key milestones for women lawyers in Australia. Gilbert + Tobin partners Gina Cass-Gottlieb and Rachael Bassil each share their experiences on coming through the ranks as a woman lawyer and what they see for the future of women in law.
Each year Gilbert + Tobin holds a range of events exploring issues relating to women, from career progression, to ‘leaning in’, to finding your voice. Our recent Women at G+T event gave junior women an opportunity to learn more about goal-setting and maintaining high performance in small group discussions with our leading senior women.