The time has come for change: Dentons and Thomson Reuters team up to dismantle the ‘Merit Myth’


Sydney, Australia – Dentons and Thomson Reuters are hosting ‘The Great Debate, Courageous Counsel v Millennials: Dismantling the Merit Myth’ on Thursday, 1 March 2018.

The debate is part of #TRChangeMakers, a global Thomson Reuters initiative that brings together key business leaders, with the express purpose of galvanising individuals to make commitments and take action to improve the gender balance at the top of organisations.

More organisations are recognising the need to address gender inequality in the workplace and across the board there have been some gradual increases in the percentage of women on boards. Despite these ‘wins’, women remain under-represented in leadership positions. Underpinning this gender imbalance is the ‘Merit Myth’; with a focus on merit masking inherent gender inequality and unconscious bias that exists within many organisations.

Kara Baysinger, Dentons partner and co-author of the successful ‘Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500’, will kick off the event with three inspirational stories from women across different eras who successfully navigated the merit issues of their time and how having courage contributed significantly to their success.

Panellists John Dalzell, Dentons; Michelle Sutherland, Arbonne International; Shan-Ree Tan, Practical Law Australia; and Emma Crause, Brookfield Australia Investments Limited will debate whether it will be the ‘rich in experience’ Courageous Counsel or the ‘uber tech-savvy’ Millennial who ultimately dismantle the ‘Merit Myth’ and remove it from everyday corporate vernacular.

Catherine Roberts, Director, Practical Law Australia, Thomson Reuters Legal Australia and New Zealand, said, “Thomson Reuters is so pleased to be partnering with Dentons in promoting this crucial discussion regarding how to promote greater gender diversity in Australia’s legal profession. The obsession with merit is proving to be a distraction from the real reasons women are not employed or promoted to legal leadership roles. The #TRChangeMakers series aims to increase individual accountability and navigate those under-the-radar prejudices to improve the gender balance in leadership teams.”

Louise Massey, Dentons Partner, Dentons Global Diversity Council Member and Regional Board Member, said, “Dentons takes as many opportunities as it can to bring together Courageous Counsel globally as we recognise that we need to continue to have frank conversations about ‘merit’ and gender inequality if we’re going to see real changes in female representation at the leadership level. Being able to partner with an organisation like Thomson Reuters on this event has been extremely positive and their global #TRChangeMakers series has many synergies with Dentons’ Global Diversity Council priorities.

About Dentons
Dentons is the world’s largest law firm, delivering quality and value to clients around the globe. Dentons is a leader on the Acritas Global Elite Brand Index, a BTI Client Service 30 Award winner and recognised by prominent business and legal publications for its innovations in client service, including founding Nextlaw Labs and the Nextlaw Global Referral Network. Dentons’ polycentric approach and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client interests in the communities in which we live and work. For more information, visit

About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We call it ‘intelligent information’ because we combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the legal market.

In Australia, Thomson Reuters delivers legal research and practice management solutions and products for lawyers, barristers, government, courts, corporates, academics and students. For more information on legal solutions in Australia, visit