Fostering Gender Diversity



Our Accomplishments and Plans for the Future

McCarthy Tétrault has a rich history as a champion of women in the legal profession, from our bold move in 1921 to hire Edith Sheppard, one of the first women lawyers in a male-dominated profession, to the women who count as 50% of our associates and 25% of our senior leadership team today. In 2015, for the third consecutive year, McCarthy Tétrault was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Best Employers and, for the fourth consecutive year, as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers – 2016.

We have pioneered several innovative strategies to support and promote our women lawyers, including:

  • In 2012, McCarthy Tétrault was the first law firm in Canada to sign the Catalyst Accord calling Canadian corporations to increase the overall FP500 board seats held by women to 25% by 2017. Currently, 27% of McCarthy Tétrault’s board is female.
  • We were the lead sponsor for the premier Catalyst Canada study on flexible work arrangements in Canadian law firms and have retained Catalyst to study the environment for women at the firm.
  • The firm launched a Women's Initiatives Network (WIN) to promote business development, mentoring and career support for women lawyers.

We are proud of our track record and continue to innovate at multiple levels to foster the advancement of women. Some of our most recent initiatives include:

  • Women Connecting: Every year for the last several years, about 80 female students from Ontario law schools (and, more recently, McGill) have attended a seminar in our Toronto office on issues and opportunities facing women in the practice of law. In 2013 the seminar was expanded to encompass all forms of diversity, not just gender.
  • New Parents Program: Catalyst’s Work-Life Effectiveness D&I practices include McCarthy Tétrault LLP's Increasing Retention of Women Lawyers: The Parental Leave Program (http://www.catalyst.org/). Elements of our New Parents Program include:
    • Parental Leave Toolkit – The toolkit contains useful information for before, during and after a parental leave.
    • Maternity Leave Buddy – Each woman preparing for maternity leave is paired with a contact in her practice group who assists with winding down before maternity leave, provides contact during the leave and assists with reintegration.
    • Emergency Daycare – Support for emergency daycare assistance is offered in each of our regions.
    • Maternity Leave Top-Up: The firm “tops up” Employment Insurance during maternity leave for lawyers so that they receive their full income during this time.
    • Flexible Work Arrangements Policy: The firm promotes flexible work arrangements to help lawyers meet personal needs, including childcare, caring for a family member or personal health.
  • Our former CEO, Marc-André Blanchard, was recognized in 2013 by Catalyst Canada as a Catalyst Canada Honours Champion. Mr. Blanchard and our former Chief Diversity Officer, Lisa Vogt, were recognized as Canadian Diversity Champions in 2012.
  • We have received a number of Women in Business Law awards by Legal Media Group, including:
    • Best Gender Diversity Initiative by a National Law Firm in North America in 2013
    • Best National Firm Work-Life Balance in North America in 2013
    • Best National Firm for Women in Business Law in North America in 2013

    Engagement and Dedication to Make a Difference

    At McCarthy Tétrault, we take pride in our women lawyers' dedication — not only to the advancement of our profession, but also to the communities in which we practise. Every year, our female partners are recognized for their accomplishments and dedication. Just to highlight a few recognitions, our female partners are named amongst the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women's Executive Network and are recipients of the LEAF Award and the Lexpert Zenith Award.

    Building stakeholder communities depends, in large part, upon the connections we make within our clients' industries, our profession, the community and our firm. Women lawyers across our offices have developed a series of innovative events to connect our women lawyers to clients.

    Career Path

    McCarthy Tétrault is committed to attracting and cultivating the career development of the best legal minds in Canada. To ensure future generations of leaders among women lawyers:

    • We sponsor the Rotman School of Business’ Leadership for Women Lawyers program and send a full complement of our income partners to attend each year.
    • We provide leadership coaching for our senior women associates and income partners.

    Meet McCarthy Tétrault's women lawyers — represented at all levels, in all areas of expertise and across all of our offices.

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Meet McCarthy Tétrault’s women lawyers — represented at all levels, in all areas of expertise and across all of our offices.
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