Flexibility in Practise
A Case Study of a Distinctive Law Firm Setting a New Standard
At Coulter Legal, we believe that flexibility, to support caring responsibilities, is an important part of our contribution to our community. Raising a family or supporting elderly parents should be celebrated and supported. Our people are able to access their carer’s leave to support a wide range of circumstances.
We have also recently reviewed and updated our Family Violence Leave policy, to continue to offer additional paid leave over and above the recent changes to the Fair Work Act. We currently offer an additional five days of paid leave per year for employees who need support through this time of crisis. Our Policy also contains an extensive list of support that is available to people to encourage them to seek professional assistance at that time.
We are incredibly proud to share that we have recently appointed a Principal Lawyer, one of our most senior roles, while she was on parental leave in August 2022. Katherine Hayes, Principal Lawyer in our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team, has recently returned to work, in May this year, in her new role and has hit the ground running, walking straight back into a large litigation matter. Katherine has returned to work an average of two days a week, noting that sometimes that may change, depending on both family circumstances and the needs of our clients.
Another amazing story is that of our Principal Lawyer and Head of Department in our Family & Relationship Law team, Bonnie Phillips, who has also recently returned to work from parental leave, in April this year. Bonnie is transitioning back to work, working three days each week, while the senior people around her step up to ensure that the days at home with her son have as few interruptions as possible.
Coulter Legal also pay superannuation on unpaid parental leave up to 12 months, so women in particular are not disadvantaged later in life when they wish to access their superannuation for a comfortable retirement.
We continue to be a firm with 80% women, including equal representation of women and men at both Director and Leadership levels across the firm.
WINNER of 100-599 Gender Equity Award 2022
AWS Inspires Aussie Teenage Young Women
Australia’s tech sector has traditionally been perceived as a masculine domain with women making up only 29% of the technology workforce in Australia. However, in recent years, there have been efforts to encourage more young women to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and it’s exciting to watch!
“Amazon Web Services (AWS) is proud to be part of the movement and believes attracting more young women to STEM careers is critical for the health of Australia’s tech industry,” said Michelle Hardie, Head of Strategy, Operations and Engagement, AWS Australia and New Zealand. “In 2019, just prior to the pandemic, only 19% of Aussie female students enrolled in ICT degrees actually completed and graduated. Critical jobs such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and robotics are deeply rewarding but the challenge is to change gender stereotypes and inspire women about technology beyond the school gates.”
Australian schools receive crash course in cloud computing
A group of Aussie teens recently took part in AWS GetIT—a global education program and competition designed to introduce 12 to 14-year-old students, especially young women, to digital skills and inspire them to consider a career in technology. It was held in collaboration with the Tech Girls Movement Foundation, an organisation that provides STEM programs throughout Australia to promote innovation and diversity.
Students from 10 schools across New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland got a crash course in cloud computing and worked together in small teams to design an application to solve a real-world issue faced by their school or community. The students then submitted their ideas as part of a competition which was won by OpenMinds from Redeemer Lutheran College in Queensland in May. The team won Kindle devices, and will be visiting the AWS office to meet employees and discover what it’s like to work at a technology company.