The Time Has Come for Change: Thomson Reuters and Dentons Team up to Dismantle the ‘Merit Myth’

Thomson Reuters and Dentons are hosting ‘The Great Debate, Courageous Counsel v Millennials: Dismantling the Merit Myth’ on Thursday, 1 March 2018.

The debate is a joint initiative of Thomson Reuters’ global #TRChangeMakers program and Dentons’ Diversity Council. Together they seek to bring together key business leaders, with the express purpose of galvanising individuals to make commitments and take action to improve the gender balance at the top of organisations.

More organisations are recognising the need to address gender inequality in the workplace and across the board there have been some gradual increases in the percentage of women on boards. Despite these ‘wins’, women remain under-represented in leadership positions. Underpinning this gender imbalance is the ‘Merit Myth’; with a focus on merit masking inherent gender inequality and unconscious bias that exists within many organisations.

Kara Baysinger, Dentons partner and co-author of the successful ‘Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500’, will kick off the event with three inspirational stories from women across different eras who successfully navigated the merit issues of their time and how having courage contributed significantly to their success.

Panellists John Dalzell, Dentons; Michelle Sutherland, Arbonne International; Shan-Ree Tan, Practical Law Australia; and Emma Crause, Brookfield Australia Investments Limited will debate whether it will be the ‘rich in experience’ Courageous Counsel or the ‘uber tech-savvy’ Millennial who ultimately dismantle the ‘Merit Myth’ and remove it from everyday corporate vernacular.
Catherine Roberts, Director, Practical Law Australia, Thomson Reuters Legal Australia and New Zealand, said, “Thomson Reuters is so pleased to be partnering with Dentons in promoting this crucial discussion regarding how to promote greater gender diversity in Australia’s legal profession. The obsession with merit is proving to be a distraction from the real reasons women are not employed or promoted to legal leadership roles. The #TRChangeMakers series aims to increase individual accountability and navigate those under-the-radar prejudices to improve the gender balance in leadership teams.”

Louise Massey, Dentons Partner, Dentons Global Diversity Council Member and Regional Board Member, said, “Dentons takes as many opportunities as it can to bring together Courageous Counsel globally as we recognise that we need to continue to have frank conversations about ‘merit’ and gender inequality if we’re going to see real changes in female representation at the leadership level. Being able to partner with an organisation like Thomson Reuters on this event has been extremely positive and their global #TRChangeMakers series has many synergies with Dentons’ Global Diversity Council priorities.”

For more information, please contact:

Kate Ritchie
Senior Communications Manager
+61 2 9035 7214

Catherine Roberts
Director, Practical Law Australia & Member, Thomson Reuters Global Diversity Council
Thomson Reuters Legal Australia
+61 2 8587 7327