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21 June 2019

Publish date: 21/06/2019

The role of inclusive leadership in public sector legal teams

Effective change leadership requires authenticity, an emotional connection, and an inclusive vision across the organisation. These were among the conclusions from a round-table forum on inclusion, gender and leadership hosted by LLG's Suki Binjal in Hackney's impressively refurbished Town Hall on Thursday 13 June. The round-table, part of Thomson Reuters' programme - Transforming Women's Leadership in the Law, (of which Suki is a board member), brought together legal directors from across the country and several members of the LLG executive, as well as junior lawyers from Hackney and law firm partners.

The diverse group contributed from their variety of backgrounds and experiences to explore power dynamics, the challenges of dealing with others' perceptions, and what it means to lead and drive cultural change in legal organisations today.

An excellent keynote from Justine Lutterodt, Director at the Centre for Synchronous Leadership, explored the personal and organisational barriers to cultural change, along with practical and helpful advice on how to work as an effective change leader: Justine said "Too often, those who are passionate about change struggle to gain buy-in from those who are content with the status quo. The skill of connecting emotionally with different stakeholders – including those who disagree – is a key differentiator of change-makers who achieve lasting, systemic impact."

From a leadership point of view, discussions focused on the need to find common goals that unite the legal workforce, while fostering difference and creating a supportive environment for under-represented groups.

On a personal level, discussions focused on the wide variety of external and internal factors that push individuals to succeed, or conversely lead to self-censorship and stagnation. Powerful personal stories from delegates underlined the need to create not just a rational but an emotional connection with the need for change.

Commenting on the round-table Justine said "It's great to see how TWLL is taking leadership in the legal sector, and planting the seeds for meaningful change." Suki Binjal added "I was delighted that we were able to create an open and relaxed environment for all of us to share our personal journeys and experiences. It really was an inspiring evening, capturing a shared, genuine desire to break down the cultural organisational barriers needed for women to succeed on an equal footing in whatever their profession".

The roundtable was ably facilitated by Ann Lundin of Thomson Reuters. You can find out more information about Transforming Women's leadership in the Law here

Desmond Brady

Director Public Sector

Thomson Reuters