Kazakhstan: Making Impact on Diversity Matters Kazbar’s Women in Law Initiative

Interest in women’s rights is at an all-time high and this is a powerful moment to drive for change. The topic of gender diversity is one that has been talked about at length and yet many of the reforms and policies aimed to make professional avenues better for women fall short of execution.

I am immensely pleased to have initiated along with my like-minded colleagues - the Women in Law Committee for the Kazakhstan Bar Association - primarily to generate public awareness about the disparity between women and men in the professional arena. With my twenty plus years of experience in the legal industry I foresee an environment that is conducive to women employees in Kazakhstan. Women empowerment in the workplace is crucial rights issue as well as a boost to the economic status of our country. According to the UN Women’s latest report, 63 per cent of women aged 25–54 participate in the labor force, compared to 94 per cent for men in the same age bracket, and that on average women continue to earn 23 per cent less than men. (Source: unwomen.org)

Most companies in the US and UK have invested significant resources in employee and diversity initiatives that specifically support women. Whether it’s adopting better-than-average maternity and parental leave policies, launching formal sponsorship and mentorship programs targeting high-potential women, workplace flexibility policies that allow women to adjust their workload to work-life balance needs and life events, these investments cumulatively make a difference.

For the same reason, I would be initiating a series of interviews this year with some of the key representatives of different legal societies to analyze the general trends; nationally and internationally; in pay gap, career approach and other areas of distinction between men and women and the need for supporting them in the legal sphere in Kazakhstan. In this year, the focus will be specifically on generating public awareness so that in future we can try and be more hands on with developing measures and initiating events and actions which empower women in the workplace.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite legal professionals from law firms, state institutions and corporate institutions sharing similar values, to join us in this campaign and to support and contribute towards empowering women in the workplace. Please sign up to Kazakhstan Bar Association Page for further updates.