The Australian legal profession is committed to promoting diversity, inclusion equality, and respect consistent with the principles of justice, integrity, equity and the pursuit of excellence upon which the profession is founded.
The Law Society recognises that equality, diversity and inclusion benefit the legal profession, the community and the economy as a whole. It also recognises the intersectionality of discrimination where people experience inequity and exclusion in many different ways. We are keen to create and foster equality through a supportive and understanding environment for all individuals to realise their potential regardless of differences. We seek to promote and support a strong and fair legal profession comprising, accommodating, encouraging and respecting a diverse range of individuals and views.
In embracing equality, diversity and inclusion, we acknowledge the unique position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia, holding a special place in Australia’s history. The Law Society’s First Nations Action Plan outlines the actions the Society will undertake to achieve its vision of a profession where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students, graduates and practitioners feel valued and respected.
Equality embraces not only gender equality but equality for all members of our legal profession including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Diversity encourages employers to be inclusive of employees from a range of backgrounds and so includes information relevant to the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as those of other racial, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
Inclusion is a result of equality and diversity in action. To quote Vernā Myers, an inclusion strategist, ‘Diversity is being asked to the party, inclusion is being asked up to dance’. The Law Society continues to take an inclusive approach in its governance, decision-making, and collaborative engagement with the profession and the wider community.
To ensure that the important issue of gender diversity continues to be tackled at the national level as well as in Western Australia, the Law Society works with the Law Council of Australia.
Accordingly, in line with the Law Council’s Diversity and Equality Charter (April 2016) the Law Society promotes that we:
- treat all people with respect and dignity regardless of sex, sexuality, disability, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or other arbitrary feature;
- create and foster equality through a supportive and understanding environment for all individuals to realise their maximum potential regardless of difference;
- promote and support a strong and fair legal profession comprising, accommodating, encouraging and respecting a diverse range of individuals and views.