Australia: Clayton Utz lawyer to lead Victorian Women Lawyers in 2012
Last Updated: 14 January 2012

Melbourne, 13 January 2012: The 2012 Convenor of Victorian Women Lawyers (VWL), Clayton Utz Melbourne taxation lawyer Patricia Athanasiadis, says VWL will continue its strong advocacy in support of women's advancement and retention in the legal profession.

Ms Athanasiadis has served on the VWL Executive for the past two years, as co-chair of the Justice Committee for both years and as Assistant Convenor in 2011.

In 2012, Ms Athanasiadis said VWL would place a particular emphasis on identifying and facilitating mentoring opportunities for female lawyers. "We want to encourage women to take a pro-active approach to progressing their careers," she said.

This year VWL will provide members with more opportunities to network and build relationships with practitioners in members' practice areas, at the Bar, and with members of the Supreme Court of Victoria and Federal Court of Australia benches. VWL will also provide opportunities for women lawyers to learn soft skills that will help them progress their careers in the law, including the upcoming Converting Contacts to Contracts event on 22 February, which will give attendees tips on effective networking.

Ms Athanasiadis said VWL would also continue its focus on addressing the high rate of attrition of women from the legal profession.

"There are still too many women who are leaving the profession because of difficulties they encounter in the workplace – whether this is due to a lack of flexible work options, or a lack of professional support to enable them to pursue a particular career path. In 2012 VWL will continue to advocate the benefits and business value of flexible work practices, as well as inclusive leadership behaviours and practices to support flexibility," she said.

VWL is a voluntary association that aims to assist female lawyers in achieving a satisfying, successful professional life – whatever their personal definition of success might be – by providing networking, educational and professional development opportunities as well as promoting the understanding and support of women's and human rights. The Honourable Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC of the Victorian Supreme Court is VWL's patron.

Clayton Utz became a founding sponsor of VWL 15 years ago. Other VWL sponsors include Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Allens Arthur Robinson, Maddocks, Minter Ellison, Middletons, DLA Piper, Maurice Blackburn, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Blake Dawson.

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