Gender Diversity and Inclusion

Lowering barriers and creating opportunities for women in law

Advancing Women Leaders

McCarthy Tétrault has a rich history as a champion of women leaders in the legal profession and the larger business community. The firm acts at multiple levels to foster the advancement of women including being the first law firm in Canada to sign the Catalyst Accord, which calls on Canadian corporations to increase the overall FP500 board seats held by women to 25% before 2017. We’re pleased to say that women make up 50% of McCarthy Tétrault’s board currently. Our Diversity Initiatives Network also focuses on promoting leadership and business development opportunities for our women lawyers and clients.

Several strategies we’ve pioneered and promoted to advance our women lawyers include:

  • Leading sponsor for the premier Catalyst Canada study on flexible work arrangements in Canadian law firms.
  • Founding sponsor of the Rotman School of Management’s Business Leadership for Women Lawyers program and the Judy Project, two of Canada’s premier executive leadership forums for women.
  • Innovative Parental Support Program, profiled by Catalyst Canada as a best practice, which assists new parents in balancing their careers with building a family and includes a parental leave toolkit, coaching sessions with an external consultant, a maternity leave buddy program, emergency daycare support, and special travel expenses for nursing lawyers (including expenses for a secondary caregiver).

We are the recipient of several Women in Business Law awards by Legal Media Group, including:

  • Best Gender Diversity Initiative by a National Law Firm in North America
  • Best National Firm Work-Life Balance in North America
  • Best National Firm for Women in Business Law in North America

Dedicated to Making a Difference

Working to advance women lawyers is more than just the right thing to do, it is a business imperative. We pride ourselves on having a team that reflects the same values as the client teams with whom we work. Building strong stakeholder communities also depends on the connections we make within the communities in which we work and live.

Women lawyers across our offices have developed a series of innovative initiatives to connect with clients. Every year, our lawyers are recognized for their accomplishments and dedication to this issue. We’re proud that a number of our past and present women partners have been named among the 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network, and a number of our women partners and lawyers have also received Lexpert Zenith and Rising Star Awards.

The Managing Partners’ Forum has also recognized our commitment to diversity and inclusion with an Award for the ‘Best Diversity and Inclusion Program’ for ‘Pitch Perfect’, a ground-breaking national speed pitching program for women lawyers developed and delivered in collaboration with the Canadian Women’s General Counsel Group.