The bamboo ceiling for the legal/judiciary sectors in Australia is a major issue with a lack of diversity at the top. However, there have been leaps and bounds made in recent years with the work and advocacy from grassroots organisations such as the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) and other groups who continue to advocate for better representation, visibility and diversity.
So to see this appointment is definitely news to my ears. Molina Asthana who serves as the Vice President for the Asian Australian Lawyers Association (AALA) and as the Head Victorian Convener for the Asian Australian Alliance (AAA), among many other hats she wears has been appointed earlier this year as the Vice President for the Law Institute of Victoria. What a great thing to happen, and with more gunho and diverse women like Asthana, changes will be seen in the near future.
Asthana told us how important it is to have culturally diverse leadership, and what she hopes to achieve and inspire:
It is important for people of diverse backgrounds to be visible in leadership positions, particularly women, so that we can challenge the exiting status quo and pave the way for others like us. The other reason why we need visibility is because if clients from multicultural backgrounds do not see people like themselves in senior leadership in the justice system, they many not feel adequately represented or their issues understood because of language, cultural or socio economic factors, or relief not granted due to these factors. This then becomes an issue of access to justice.
I am very excited to have been elected the Vice President of the LIV for 2021. My focus will be on addressing issues diversity (lack of it) and sexual harassment in the legal profession as well as ensuring that our legal fraternity is supported in its recovery post COVID.
Here is more from Indialink News, which talks about Asthana’s background and successful career:
Despite having worked as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of India, Molina’s degree and experience were discounted here. She took a Master of Laws degree in Melbourne with good grades, but that wasn’t enough to get her started. Even as recruiters dismissed her applications, Molina decided to make her own move.
Starting as a trainee solicitor, she climbed the ladder within months. She soon became the Principal Solicitor at the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office, a position in which she served for eleven years until two years ago.
A champion for culturally diverse women, it is great to see her up there in a position of influence!~