In 2021, our Inclusion & Diversity Committee (IDC) crafted a Gender Equity Plan with WGEA's support, marking a significant step in our commitment to gender equality. Our efforts were recognised in 2022 with the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) 21-23 citation, highlighting us as pioneers among IP specialist firms in diversity and inclusion. The EOCGE citation marks a milestone, not a finale, in our ongoing journey towards gender parity.

WGEA recently published data with regards to the gender pay gap* of large Australian companies with 100 or more employees. Over the last 20 years the national gender pay gap for full time employees' total earnings has hovered between 17% and 22%, in favour of men. Brett Lunn, our Managing Partner, emphasises the importance of continuous improvement, noting: "Despite favourable trends compared to national figures, the persistent gender pay gap underscores the need for further action." Under the leadership of Madeleine Kelly and Steve Gledhill, the IDC remains focused on initiatives that support gender equality and narrow the pay gap.

Gender equality and equity at FB Rice

Gender equality initiatives

Our Gender Equity Plan tackles various areas, including the gender pay gap, leadership development, flexible working arrangements, family support, and the prevention of sexual-based harassment and discrimination. Key initiatives include:

  • A gender-neutral parental leave policy offering 26 weeks of paid leave.
  • Regular gender-based remuneration audits to ensure pay equity.
  • An agile hybrid working model supporting flexible arrangements for working parents.
  • A Soft-Landing Policy to ease the transition back from parental leave - Chargeable time expectations reduced by 25% for the first full month back.
  • A goal to achieve 50% female representation in partnership roles by 2026 – on target to achieving this goal.
  • A comprehensive Learning and Development Framework.
  • Regular internal surveys and anti-harassment workshops, reflecting our zero-tolerance policy towards gender-based and sexual harassment.

At FB Rice, we’re not just responding to the call for gender equality; we're actively forging a future where equity is integral to our corporate culture. Our ongoing commitment aims to redefine industry standards, ensuring our journey towards gender equality is both dynamic and inclusive.

*The gender pay gap is the difference in average earnings between women and men in the workforce. See more on this via WGEA.