We engage with all of our people to create a work environment that encourages and promotes diversity and equality, while instilling pride in the firm and our values. Our values and culture assist us in creating a cohesive environment in which we are committed equally to professionalism and personal fulfilment.
We foster a working environment that is inclusionary of all people regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or disability and impairments. Gadens is committed to providing and maintaining a workplace that is free from any form of inappropriate workplace behaviour, including unlawful discrimination, harassment (including sexual harassment), vilification, victimisation and bullying. This begins with our recruitment strategies and continues through to all levels of the firm.
Gadens is proud to adopt the Diversity and Equality Charter developed by the Law Council of Australia. This Charter is a statement of principles to acknowledge publicly a commitment to diversity and equality by the Australian legal profession.
We aim to fulfil our obligations under the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 and create an environment that caters to the needs of both men and women, thereby contributing to Gadens’ strategic objectives by embedding diversity and inclusion into our business strategy and practices. As a firm we are committed to equality in the workplace and are focused on achieving gender pay parity as part of our focus on gender equality. To further show our commitment in this regard, we have signed up as Pay Equity Ambassadors under the Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) Pay Equity Ambassador Program.
Gadens is also a signatory to the Law Council of Australia Equitable Briefing Policy. The Policy is intended to drive cultural change within the legal profession, support the progression and retention of women barristers, and address the significant pay gap and underrepresentation of women in the superior courts.
Gadens is committed to fostering inclusion of people with disabilities, and we have been working to build partnerships with providers who will support our current and future employees with disabilities to have successful and fulfilling careers with Gadens.
We have recently partnered with JobSupport, a specialist service placing people with an intellectual disability into employment. JobSupport’s mission is to place, train and maintain people with an intellectual disability into quality jobs that meet both their employment needs and the needs of the employer. Each position is specially designed by an employer in consultation with JobSupport, to ensure that each placement works well for both the employer and new employee.
The process of reconciliation is an ongoing journey and involves commitment and collaboration. We are passionate in our efforts to ‘close the gap’ between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Our focus is working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and with key organisations to build relationships and assist in creating opportunities through education and employment. For a number of years, we have offered a program for Indigenous law students which provides them with long-term work experience, mentoring and study support (financial and mentoring) through CareerTrackers. These programs provide excellent opportunities for Indigenous students to achieve their legal goals both within and beyond Gadens.
Gadens is also proud to have launched its first reflect Reconciliation Action Plan in 2019. This is the culmination of many years supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders within the firm and the community more broadly and outlines our ongoing commitments in this space.
We also recognise that our people may seek to work flexibly at various stages of their lives for a variety of reasons including family responsibilities, study, health, phased retirement or participation in community and volunteering activities. Our flexible work arrangements allow for changes to the time, location and manner in which a staff member works, and we offer a range of flexible working arrangements including: flexibility upon return from parental leave, flexible working hours, job share arrangements, leave of absence, part time working arrangements, purchased annual leave and working from home.