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International Women’s Day 2021

International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, and in particular those working at our firm. The theme for 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge,’ a reminder that we all can and should choose to call out gender bias and inequality to create an inclusive world.

Women are not a homogenous group; they are diverse by nature of their backgrounds, their life experiences, their abilities, perspectives and opinions, and International Women’s Day is about celebrating inclusion of women in its truest sense.

We have much to celebrate in our global firm – we have remarkable women doing notable work throughout the world. In January 2021, we became the first ‘Am Law 200’ firm to name a woman of color, Shauna Clark, as both our Global and US Chair. Recently, Shauna spoke with women leaders of the firm to get their views on the challenges that women face today, including discrimination and micro-aggression in the workplace and the perceptions of female leadership during a pandemic.

“Discrimination is much less overt now, it’s subconscious in many ways and I think that makes it more challenging to overcome,” said Alison Deitz, Managing Partner, Australia. “We, as female leaders, need to be very aware of that and ensure we can overcome it, whether by unconscious bias training or actively putting in place metrics for gender pay equity, to ensure that we’re not discriminating in any shape or form.”

“We’re getting to the point now where gender discrimination is more systemic, so it’s around the actual structures themselves and who is at the table making the decisions and the transparency around that, which is different to what was more bold and in your face in the past,” echoed Angela Tancock, Chief Strategy Officer, Canada.

The reality, then, is that women still are fighting not just for a place at the table – but to be listened to when they get a seat there.

“As a woman I get penalised for my tenacity and for being direct,” explained Natasha Moore, Head of Learning and Development, Europe, Middle East and Asia. “Women are often invited to the party, but we’re not invited to dance.”

One issue that remains is that women who are assertive are sometimes painted in a negative light, which can make them reluctant to display their full confidence or potential.

“In the context of the work place, many women wait until they are 100 percent ready to take up a challenge, whereas our male counterparts would not do that, and what I say to women is – you go the extra mile, not because you are a woman but because you will find very few people in that space, and that is your place to make your mark in, in whatever way you choose to,” said Marelise van der Westhuizen, CEO, South Africa.

“Women who are seen as go-getters can be judged more harshly and we don’t just see that in professional organisations, but in the wider world too,” added Farmida Bi, EMEA Chair. “Women politicians, for example, are held to a different standard. However, the thing I’ve found most interesting about the current pandemic is the discussion around whether female leaders in countries like New Zealand or South Korea have proved to be more successful because they are leading in a different, better way.”

“When I started, I didn’t have the courage to be my authentic self and I became very adept at shifting my personality to make those around me more comfortable, and it was just another weight that I carried, in addition to being black and a woman and young in a male-dominated environment,” Shauna said.

Combatting the issue requires raising issues of disrespect, implicit bias and micro-aggression when we see it, in order to seek to correct and improve it, Shauna said.

“The conversation needs to be about resilience and being human and correcting mistakes,” Shauna said.

“There are both the implicit bias issues that people have – I have them, we all have them – sometimes there are also biases that we hold ourselves to,” added Gina Shishima, Chief Strategy and Operations Partner, United States. “I also think it’s not the best thing to focus on; if I have to say it again, I’ll say it again. I think trying to be cognisant of it is key, but I try to focus on being effective.”

Read more about our diversity and inclusion efforts, including how we strive to achieve gender balance.

Norton Rose Fulbright announces 2021 Global Charitable Initiative

Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2021 Global Charitable Initiative (GCI) will focus on fighting systemic racism and championing social justice worldwide. This important and timely cause was selected by the firm’s newly appointed Global and US Chair Shauna Clark, the first woman of colour to be chair of an “Am Law 200” firm.

The aim of the initiative will be to raise awareness as to the importance of fighting racism and championing social justice in business, in local communities and as individuals through fundraising, pro bono and volunteering opportunities with charities focused on these causes. Where possible, the firm will join with like-minded clients in these activities to expand its reach.

“I would like 2021 to be remembered as a year of action by the whole firm, uniting to use our time and our talents and our passion to fight racism and champion social justice,” Shauna said. “Our aim is that this initiative will leave a lasting legacy, inspiring our people to support antiracism and social justice causes and to commit to antiracism and social justice volunteering, fundraising and pro bono activities in their local communities.”

In late 2021, lawyers and support personnel firm-wide will be invited to participate in a global activity day. Likewise, each region or jurisdiction will be encouraged to interpret the themes of fighting racism and championing social justice in a way that resonates with their local community and culture, identifying an organisation active in this cause with which to partner in 2021.

“As a global law firm, we can use our voices to stand up for those who don’t have a voice, who don’t have access, who don’t have opportunities,” Shauna said.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Global Charitable Initiatives are proposed and sponsored by a different region each year. Each region is asked to choose a cause which resonates with the firm globally, motivating lawyers and other personnel to participate and take action.

Past initiatives have included promoting the building of environmentally sustainable communities, fighting hunger and reducing food waste, supporting the Special Olympics and helping to build a facility for Menzi Children’s Home in South Africa.

Find out more about the firm’s commitment to corporate responsibility and diversity and inclusion.

BSI becomes newest RelativityOne certified partner

BSI’s global centre of excellence for Cybersecurity and Information Resilience has announced a new partnership with Relativity to use its SaaS product, RelativityOne. BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience plans to leverage the SaaS product at their headquarters in Ireland and will be the first partner deployed in RelativityOne’s Netherlands data center.

With the new cloud-based e-Discovery platform, BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience will expand their best-in-class data advisory and compliance services into new areas and markets thanks to the flexibility and global reach of RelativityOne. The BSI e-Discovery and Forensics consultants have expert knowledge of the platform and will leverage the speed and efficiency of the secure SaaS product to respond quicker to the growing GDPR, litigation and regulatory requests of their clients.

Commenting on the partnership, Inés Rubio, Head of Information Management and Incident Response at BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience said, “We are delighted to become a certified RelativityOne partner and look forward to incorporating the platform into the uniquely tailored solutions that we offer our global clients. Relativity is a ground-breaking technology and it has really made the e-Discovery process more insightful, manageable and efficient.”

“We’re excited to welcome BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience as a new RelativityOne certified partner,” said Steve Couling, Vice President of International at Relativity. “We look forward to seeing how they leverage the extensibility and flexibility of our SaaS product to further optimise and transform the businesses of their clients.”

Built on the industry-leading security controls of the Microsoft Azure Cloud, RelativityOne provides an added layer of security to the leading security posture BSI is known for. To celebrate the new partnership and its commitment to joint security, Relativity Solutions Specialist, Clare Longworth, will speak at the inaugural BSI International Cyber Resilience Exchange on 26 March 2019 at The Convention Centre in Dublin where she will present an interactive workshop titled ‘Information Management and e-Discovery: Which of Your e-Discovery Workflows are Primed for Change?’ To find out more visit: https://bsicyberexchange.com/

BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience provides a range of solutions to help organisations address their information challenges covering cybersecurity, information management and privacy, security awareness, compliance and testing. For more information visit https://www.bsigroup.com/en-IE/our-services/cybersecurity-information-resilience/

About BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience centre of excellence

The BSI centre of excellence for Cybersecurity and Information Resilience is based in Sandyford, Dublin, where it manages and secures corporate information for BSI’s global clients. The company provides expertise to clients on the identification, protection, compliance and management of their information assets through a combination of consultancy, technology, research and training. Its mission is to help clients achieve Information Resilience – an environment where infrastructure is protected and secure, regulatory and compliance obligations are met, people are safe, and reputation and trust is maintained. The companies highly qualified consultants’ experience and expertise cover the entire Information Governance landscape.

The companies’ credentials are enhanced by adherence to internationally recognised accreditations and certifications (CREST / Cyber Essentials / Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Qualified Security Assessor). BSI is the originator of the ISO 27000 series of Information Security Standards and the global leader in providing training and certification to ISO 27001, the established best practice in Information Security Management Systems (ISMS).

About BSI

BSI is the business improvement company that enables organisations to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. For over a century BSI has championed what good looks like and driven best practice in organisations around the world. Working with over 86,000 clients across 193 countries, it is a truly international business with skills and experience across a number of sectors including automotive, aerospace, built environment, food, and healthcare. Through its expertise in Standards Development and Knowledge Solutions, Assurance and Professional Services, BSI improves business performance to help clients grow sustainably, manage risk and ultimately be more resilient. To learn more, please visit https://www.bsigroup.com/

About Relativity

At Relativity, we make software to help users organise data, discover the truth, and act on it. Our e-discovery platform is used by thousands of organisations around the world to manage large volumes of data and quickly identify key issues during litigation, internal investigations, and compliance projects. Relativity has over 180,000 users in 40+ countries from organisations including the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 70 Fortune 100 companies, and 198 of the Am Law 200. RelativityOne offers all the functionality of Relativity in a secure and comprehensive SaaS product. Relativity has been named one of Chicago’s Top Workplaces by the Chicago Tribune for eight consecutive years. Please contact Relativity at [email protected] or visit http://www.relativity.com for more information.