Sally macindoe presentation

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Sally macindoe presentation

  1. 1. FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMODITIES TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY Talent Retention and the Gender Equation The Norton Rose Approach Sally Macindoe Chairman and Partner Norton Rose Australia 31 January 2011
  2. 2. 1. Clarifying and Building the Business Case for the retention of women• Norton Rose Australia history and outcomes• Building a Business Case• Developing and executing a strategy
  3. 3. NRA history and outcomes• Women’s Career Committee established 2005• Focused on ensuring women were presented for partnership• Achieved 21% of women Partners by 2009• EOWA Employer of Choice for women criteria were thought provoking• Analysed our demographics and leadership pipeline• We had increased the number of women Partners BUT• We had not wholistically addressed the issues affecting women’s advancement
  4. 4. Board directionIn 2009 the Board recognised both:• the changing composition of the workforce; and• the retention of womenas strategic issues and requested• a review of Diversity operations• a strategy aimed at retaining women and increasing the representation of women at the senior levelWhich resulted in• Development of an interim strategy• Establishment of clear KPI’s to measure progress
  5. 5. Analysis and researchAnalysis and research indicated• In excess of 70% of law graduates continue to be women• We continued to recruit female graduates in higher numbers than men• A majority of our lawyers were women• We were not retaining women to senior levels in the same numbers as men• Turnover of women was consistently higher at key points in their career
  6. 6. Actions arising from analysis• Clearly the retention of women was critical to our ongoing business success• We needed to • Understand why women were leaving in greater numbers than men • Develop a strategy to address those issues • Illustrate the cost and threat to our business presented by not retaining women and developing them to senior positions
  7. 7. Internal consultation and researchAppointed external consultants to undertake research within our firm who• Extensively surveyed our male and female lawyers on the reasons why women chose to leave• Conducted focus groups to further explore and validate survey responses• Provided a comprehensive report on factors affecting the retention of women
  8. 8. Results and strategy development• Too many talented women were leaving the organisation• The reasons that they were leaving were often preventable• The cost to the business of not retaining women was high • Investment in development • Replacement costs • Loss of knowledge • Loss of goodwill in relationships with client• Our diversity strategy was updated to incorporate and address what was learned
  9. 9. Presenting the business casePartners must understand and believe the strategyThorough analysis allowed illustration to all Partners that• Retention of women was a business issue, not a social justice issue• There were significant cost, business continuity and reputational risks if the issue was not addressed• The issues influencing the retention of women were real and valid• The solutions proposed within the revised Diversity strategy were immediate and relevant
  10. 10. Responses to and outcomes of businesscase• Robust discussion• Challenge to the data and research• Acceptance of the business imperative• Curiosity as to how things were to be addressed• Willingness to support the initiatives• Identification of intuitive supporters• Clarity of purpose and direction around a strategy
  11. 11. Thinking about the development and retentionof all staff as a strategic issue• People and knowledge as assets• Importance of career development for all staff• Particular factors influencing retention of women
  12. 12. People and knowledge as assets• Legal services are the provision of knowledge• Our people and their training/knowledge are our assets• High investment in development of all skills of being a lawyer• Failing to retain talented lawyers is a cost• Different motivators for retention of men and women
  13. 13. Career development for all staff• Any talent retention initiative must address needs of male and female staff• Importance of male and female Partners leading gender diversity initiatives• Transparency of purpose and communication of reasons is fundamental• Risk of resentment in senior men about a perceived “easy ride” for women• Must demonstrate equal attention and commitment to development needs of men and women• This very competitiveness can be an issue for women
  14. 14. Particular factors influencing retention ofwomen• Forms of reward and recognition• Ability to work flexibly• Quality of work and quality of clients• Ability to work effectively as part of a team• Timing of meetings or significant events• Availability of range of social activities with clients• Navigation of environment where Partners/supervisors are predominantly male
  15. 15. Successful responses to changing workplacedynamics of professional firms• Acknowledging difference• Flexible Work Arrangements• Mentoring• Career Resilience Training
  16. 16. Acknowledging difference• A majority of legal staff in firms are now women• Any gender diversity strategy/initiative must acknowledge different approaches, attitudes and development needs of all stakeholders• Women will approach issues or scenarios and respond differently to men• Occasionally there can be unconscious bias in a predominantly male leadership• NRA takes a top down (Partners first) approach in implementation of gender diversity initiatives• Education and a safe environment for open dialogue is critical
  17. 17. Flexible Work Arrangements• A major issue for all firms• Revised policy and procedure• 9 months of review, consultation and development • Identify and address barriers • Invite comment• Top down (Partnership Council, MANCO, Partners) launch inviting further engagement• Importance of balance of business and personal interests• Importance of constant maintenance of arrangements through ongoing monitoring and dialogue
  18. 18. Mentoring• Research indicated strong desire in women for effective mentoring• Preference for both male and female mentors• Desire to seek external as well as internal mentors• Reflected that women in law firms are less likely to “fall into” a mentoring relationship• Provide platform for creation of mentoring relationships between senior men and junior women• Need for structured program with guidance for both parties
  19. 19. Career Resilience Training• Aimed at acknowledging that women will interact with the workplace differently• Assists with identifying own work style preferences• Providing training and guidance to assist with understanding different workplace dynamics and how to engage with the workplace in their authentic style• Incorporates male Partners sponsoring participants and developing their own awareness as part of the program

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