Although just over half the Australian population is female, gender equity remains an ongoing challenge for the legal profession. The QLS Annual Report 2017-18 confirms a gender gap with respect to full members, with more male than female solicitors overall, a greater proportion of young solicitors being female, a higher concentration of male solicitors in private practice, and more female than male solicitors working in government and corporate sectors.
A range of steps can be taken to improve gender equity in the workplace. The Diversity Council of Australia recommends: improving work-life balance and flexibility, including parental leave; preventing discrimination and sexual harassment; addressing cultural and attitudinal barriers; removing gender bias in recruitment, development and promotion processes; providing role models and mentors; and setting measurable targets for women in senior positions.
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