#metoo volunteer work
In early 2018 I set up a #metoo blog to provide a safe space for people to share their experiences of sexual harassment and bullying and to demonstrate to the NZ Law Society and the legal profession this is a serious issue. The blog receive widespread media coverage and was open for six weeks. During this time around 220 posts were made and the blog was viewed over 25,000 times. I was also contacted privately by hundreds of women who shared their experiences and sought assistance with reporting sexual harassment or accessing support services.
Following the blog I was involved in a range of consultation processes with the Minister of Justice, the NZ Law Society Independent Regulatory Working Group led by Dame Silvia Cartwright, WorkSafe and others to discuss sexual harassment law and policy changes. I also spoke at a range of conferences and events and regularly appeared in the media.
I am currently an elected executive member of the Aotearoa Legal Workers’ Union (ALWU) and continue to undertake volunteer work on sexual harassment. In June I drafted submissions for ALWU on the NZ Law Society’s proposed changes to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Lawyers: Conduct and Client Care) Rules and the CPD Rules which address the reporting of and education on sexual harassment. I then met with the Law Society as part of their consultation process to discuss the submissions.
If you have any questions about my volunteer work, please feel free to contact me.
Report by NZ Law Society Independent Regulatory Working Group on sexual harassment and bullying in the legal profession
“The most influential information was drawn from the voices of people affected in Aotearoa New Zealand. An important source is Zoë Lawton’s blog which recorded the experiences of over 200 lawyers of all ages and status in the profession. The experiences shared on the blog provide the impetus for vital regulatory change. Zoë’s contribution to the future of the profession is immeasurable. It has extended beyond curating the blog, to research which will without doubt, inform the future management of complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination.”
Dame Silvia Cartwright
Chair of the Independent Regulatory Working Group
Gender in Law Lecture
Canterbury University, Faculty of Law
Christchurch, 20 May 2019
Women in Law and Rainbow Law, University of Auckland
Auckland, 16 May 2019
2019 Annual Union Lawyers and Industrial Officers Conference
Sydney, 28 February 2019
Eradicating Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession: Panel Discussion
New Zealand Women in Law Summit
Auckland, 18 September 2018
Aotearoa's #MeToo Movement: Workshop on the Power of Grassroots Initiatives
National Council of Women Conference
Auckland, 1 September 2018
Difficult Conversations: Panel Discussion
Thursdays in Black Aotearoa, University of Auckland
Auckland, 23 August 2018
#MeToo Panel Discussion - What Does The Movement Really Mean For Our Society?
Auckland Museum in partnership with Radio New Zealand and the SpinOff
Auckland, 15 August 2018
Equal Justice Project Mid Year Function
Auckland, 26 July, 2018
Sexual Harassment In The Workplace – The Way Forward: Breakfast Roundtable
UN Women and the Human Rights Commission
Auckland, 24 May 2018 and Wellington, 28 May 2018
#MeToo - It's Time We Talked: Panel Discussion
University of Auckland
Auckland, 1 May 2018
Making The Law a Safe Space: Panel Discussion
Wellington Women Lawyers Association and the NZ Law Society Women in Law Committee
Wellington, 9 April 2018