Driven by our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, in 2021 we established a detailed Gender Equity Plan; a plan enlisted with the support and guidance from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA). WGEA is an Australian Government initiative charged with encouraging, recognising and promoting active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

Last year WGEA named us as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation holder for 2021-23. It was an honour to be the first IP specialist firm cited, demonstrating our leadership in the area of diversity, and affirming the meaningful steps we are taking to drive positive change.

Receiving this citation does not mean we are done. Our Gender Equity Plan continues to be a priority at FB Rice. However, over the last two years, we’ve accelerated positive change by introducing a number of gender equality policies and initiatives.

FB Rice continues to focus on leadership, learning and development, gender remuneration equality, flexible working and other initiatives to support family responsibilities, employee consultation, preventing sex-based harassment and discrimination, and setting targets for improving gender equality outcomes. Some of our recent initiatives to drive gender equality are outlined below.

Gender Equality & Equity at FB Rice

Our Inclusion & Diversity Committee initiatives

Some of these include:

  • A Soft-Landing Policy following the return from parental leave
  • Delivering workshops to support working parents
  • Delivering sexual harassment and discrimination prevention workshops
  • Amendments to our Parental Leave Policy – this includes 26 weeks paid leave
  • amendments to our Secondary Caregivers Leave Policy – this includes 4 weeks paid leave, and an additional 4 weeks if they become the primary caregiver within the child’s first year.
  • A framework for allowing staff members to work flexibly including hours of work, e.g. start and finish times, a differing spread of hours across a working week, and part-time work. Other arrangements include locations of work, e.g. working from home, another FB Rice office, or other premises
  • In 2022, 50% of entrants to the partnership were female, and we are well on the way to again reaching this target by 2026.
  • We also perform regular gender-based remuneration audits to ensure gender pay equity for like-for-like roles. Our firm-wide gender pay gap for total remuneration was 13.8% this year, which was a significant improvement from the previous year (23.6%).*

*According to WGEA, Australia’s base salary gender pay gap is highest in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (25.3%) and lowest in Other Services (2.3%).