Everyone should feel like they belong at Lane Neave, which prides itself on putting people at the very heart of the firm. Professional services are delivered with and through its people, and so the experience people have at work matters.
In our People Survey 2020, 74% of respondents indicated that it is extremely or very important that Lane Neave operates in a way that makes a positive social and environmental impact. Lane Neave has had a long-standing investment programme into a range of community and environmental programmes, in addition to our work around collective health and wellbeing, and promoting diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging.
This is also underpinned by the principles outlined in the firm’s Diversity and No Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination polices.
We joined Diversity Works in 2021 and underwent an audit that looked at our existing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policies and practices. We are working closely with them on our next steps, particularly in relation to (i) the collection of data to inform where to direct our efforts, and (ii) presenting a business case to the Board.
We are committed to creating an inclusive environment and promoting the advancement of female lawyers. In 2022 Lane Neave was:
- named New Zealand Firm of the Year at the Women in Business Law Awards, Asia-Pacific 2022;
- awarded a further three awards, including the Work-Life Balance National Firm of the Year; and
- shortlisted for the Women in Business Law Global Awards 2022.
These awards are judged on a firm’s ability to support the development of women in the legal profession and provide work/life programmes to enable women to pursue legal careers. Criteria include the ratio of female-to-male lawyers (at all levels of seniority), the retention of women associates to partner level, and any relevant diversity initiatives.
We are also a signatory to both the NZLS Gender Equality Charter (since 2018) and the United Nations’ initiative, Women’s Empowerment Principles in New Zealand.
Racial and cultural diversity
Creating a firm and environment that is culturally responsive is central to making people feel like they belong. The firm’s People Strategy, approved by the Board in 2020, embodies this and puts people at the heart of all we do.
Part of lifting the firm’s overall cultural competence is a focus on developing individual cultural capability – ie, the ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people of your own and other cultures.
This is reflected in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Statement of Intent, which outlines our commitment to engage with Māori, both within and outside the firm. In 2022 we have been working with an external consultant, who is guiding us on our bicultural journey, including as that relates to (i) Te Reo Māori opportunities for all staff, and (ii) learning about Matariki, New Zealand’s newest indigenous public holiday.
Flexible work/life balance is about effectively managing the juggling act between paid work and the other activities that are important to people such as time with family, participation in community activities, sporting pursuits, voluntary work, personal development, leisure and recreation. It may even be just the flexibility of having time to attend appointments and to take care of oneself, family and friends.
Our Flexible Work and Work Life Balance Policy was developed to support the implementation of flexible working arrangements, including related to hours, location, and return to work after a break.
Accreditations and memberships