The Russell McVeagh sponsorship fallout has increased with the Factory-sponsored New ZealandWomen’s Law Journal now saying they are also dumping the firm, but carefully noting that the problem was far broader than just Russell McVeagh.
Journals editors-in-chief Ana Lenard (pictured) and Allanah Colley have spoken out for the first time since the sex harassment claims arose, both saying that they had taken their time in making a decision to consider their relationship with the firm.
In a statement they said the events of the past few weeks had shown the problem was far broader than just Russell McVeagh and that it was the time for leaders in the profession to initiate change and to take responsibility for the problem.
“It is not an issue of working long hours and alcohol-fuelled social events, which are a normal part of professional life,” the statement said.
“The issue is deeper than that: it is about the sexist thinking that people have failed to challenge for far too long. Anything else is a scapegoat.
“We are deeply disappointed by many of the responses from senior members of the profession in recent days,” they said.
“The women involved and anyone who has suffered because of the inappropriate actions of others deserve our support. They also deserve a comprehensive, creative and paradigm-shifting response.”
“We have had a frank conversation with Russell McVeagh about the complaints, the firm’s culture and the steps the firm has taken subsequently.
Russell McVeagh seemed to have genuine concern for the complainants, and had spoken of their endeavours to do best by them and ensure this never happens again, they said.