Thursday, 8 March 2018
Hayley Cormann, President of the Law Society of Western Australia, addressed friends and alumni today at an event marking International Women’s Day at the University of Notre Dame’s Fremantle Campus.
Mrs Cormann, a Notre Dame graduate, took the opportunity to reflect on the challenges women continue to face in society and our workplaces. She addressed the International Women’s Day theme of ‘Press for Progress’, which calls upon everyone to work towards gender parity and to think, to act and to be, gender inclusive.
“As President of the Law Society in 2018, I am proud to say that diversity, inclusion and supporting women in the law are topics very much at the forefront of our activities,” Mrs Cormann said.
“We regularly host discussions on the workplace gender equality initiatives being undertaken in the profession, as well as initiatives on diversity and inclusion in legal practice. Delegates at our Law Summer School conference recently heard from Diane Smith-Gander, Non-Executive Director at Wesfarmers, who spoke about the economic imperative of gender equity.
“I hope this year to work closely with key leaders and decision-makers to implement practical solutions to challenges, and unlock the potential of the many talented women we have graduating to, and working in, the Western Australian legal profession.”
Mrs Cormann spoke about the growing availability and popularity of flexible working practices. “They empower employees to make their own decisions as to when and where they are most productive. It is an area where women can benefit greatly, but not just women. From the top down, men and women in the workplace must work together to eliminate the perception that flexibility is incompatible with senior roles, and that it should only be available for women as primary carers.
“The climate is very much right at this time for broad change to take hold, and I think that now is the time to unite our communities in the push for gender parity, and to work together to make our daily challenges more bearable,” Mrs Cormann said.
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About us: The Law Society of Western Australia is the peak professional association for lawyers in the State. The Society is a not-for-profit association dedicated to the representation of its more than 3800 members. The Society enhances the legal profession through its position as a respected leader and contributor on law reform, access to justice and the rule of law. The Society is widely acknowledged by the legal profession, government and the community as the voice of the legal profession in Western Australia.