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Diversity Champions: Walking the Walk
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Spring Chang, founding partner of Beijing-based Chang Tsi & Partners, reflects on her working life, the challenges that remain for diversity and inclusion and her hopes for the future.
Describe a typical day in your role
I check my emails in the morning between 7am and 8am. Starting from 9am, I discuss the issues with my teams and hold meetings with my partners to explore the important cases. In the afternoon, I either have meetings with my clients, or I start drafting my correspondence. At around 5pm, I check the emails submitted by my team and send them out to clients.
What can be done to attract more women and people from diverse backgrounds to IP?
As founding partner of Chang Tsi & Partners, I vow to create an inclusive workplace where every employee can feel included and valued, and where the differences among us contribute to our harmonious culture.
We believe that an inclusive workplace is the key to attracting more women and people from diverse backgrounds to IP, or any other industry. Around 71% of all of our employees are women and the percentage of female directors and managers at the firm stands at 82%.
Many of our colleagues are minorities or people with disabilities. From recruitment to promotion, we ensure that everyone is treated equally, regardless of race, gender, nationality, ethnicity or any other status.
We are proud of the diverse and inclusive workplace we have and the career paths here at Chang Tsi & Partners.
Is the legal profession doing enough to promote D&I?
We have seen an increasing number of female practitioners in the legal industry, but we should never stop promoting diversity and inclusion (D&I). For example, pregnancy can affect the career paths of many female professionals. We should not only provide them with strong and warm support, but also launch policies to ensure their career development will not be adversely affected or even stopped.
In addition, we should also pay more attention to other social groups who might be vulnerable or ignored in the workplace.
What impact has COVID-19 had on D&I initiatives?
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the progress on D&I initiatives. Everyone is facing difficulties but some groups, eg, working parents, are facing the toughest challenges. As a working mother myself, I have had to pay more attention to my child and housework, which has greatly increased my workload.
Many women have suspended their careers to look after their children. The leadership of every firm should consider how to minimise the negative impact on employees due to COVID-19.
”Many women have suspended their careers to look after their children. The leadership of every firm should consider how to minimise the negative impact on employees due to COVID-19.” - Spring Chang, Chang Tsi & Partners
Who or what inspires you?
My parents are my idols. My father is an extremely hard-working and energetic engineer who became a professor later on in his career. He taught me repeatedly when I was young that girls can be as successful as boys and that learning should be a life-long passion.
My mother, a teacher, is an optimistic woman of action. She has a strong influence on my personality.
What are your hopes for D&I in the future?
As a female lawyer, I have experienced many difficulties in my career path. Being a lawyer is not easy. For myself, I find balancing work and home life a challenge as I have two children but need to spend most of my time on cases and managing the firm.
I think I will take up some hobbies to relieve the pressure! It pleases me that young people who have entered the legal industry can have more opportunities that before. However, we should never stop promoting D&I in the future for the next generation and ensuring that everyone can enjoy a diverse, inclusive and friendly workplace.
Spring Chang is a founding partner at Chang Tsi Partners. She can be contacted at: email@example.com
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Chang Tsi & Partners, D&I, COVID-19, female lawyer, career development, pandemic