Australia: Cooper Grace Ward wins QLS 2017 Equity and Diversity Award
Last Updated: 20 May 2017

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers is delighted to be named the winner of the Large Legal Practice for the Queensland Law Society's (QLS) Equity and Diversity Awards, 2017.

Neil Baker, Director – People and Culture and Janet Wilson, Chief Executive Officer accepted the award on behalf of Cooper Grace Ward at the QLS Open Day, 17 May.

Mr Baker said the award was a testament to the strength of the firm's internal culture and people strategy and particular focus on diversity and inclusion, which is actively supported by the Managing Partner and CEO.

'Diversity and inclusion is explicit in Cooper Grace Ward's strategic plan, with metrics and key strategic actions ensuring diversity occupies a central and very visible place. Supporting our strategy and compliance obligations are a range of policies and programs that together promote and support education and awareness of all team members,' he said.

Cooper Grace Ward has a Diversity Committee that is chaired by a member of the firm's board and includes a broad cross-section of team members.

Structured around five diversity streams – gender and flexibility, accessibility, LGBTIQ issues, age and indigenous and culture – the aim is to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding within the firm as the foundation for real and tangible change, to attract and retain diverse talent and develop a culture of inclusion.

Mr Baker continued, 'a core plank of Cooper Grace Ward's diversity and inclusion culture is our commitment to flexible work arrangements for all team members'.

'Almost half of the team at Cooper Grace Ward have some form of flexible work arrangements, which are also role modelled at the most senior levels in the organisation' Mr Baker said.

This is the second time that Cooper Grace Ward has won this award; the first being in 2013. Since that time, the firm has continued to focus on this area, and continues to be a core pillar of the firm's strategic direction.

The Equity and Diversity Award was initiated in 2002 (previously known as the QLS Employer of Choice Award) and aims to encourage Queensland legal practices to promote staff diversity and accommodate lifestyle needs. Any non-government legal practice in Queensland, including community legal centres, can nominate.

Cooper Grace Ward's focus on its exceptional employment policies, positive team culture and client service is demonstrated by recent awards: 2017 Winner – Financial Review Client Choice Awards Best Law Firm and Best Professional Services Firm (both revenue under $50m); Accreditation – WGEA Employer of Choice Gender Equality 2017; Top performing firm – Australasian Lawyer Employer of Choice 2015 (Work Life Balance and Access to Technology) and Accredited – Aon Hewitt Best Employer 2013.

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