Katriina Tahka

 Without mentioning your job title, how would you describe what it is you do now?

I help organisations create more inclusive and respectful places to work, and build workplace cultures that enable everyone to achieve their full potential. I break down barriers to inequality and cultivate diversity and inclusion.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I was an LA Law tragic!! As a teenager I obsessed about that show in the ‘80’s (OK and maybe had a crush on the character of Victor Sifuentes!!). Then in Year 11 and 12 of High School I got the opportunity to compete in Mock Trials and our school was one of the first in NSW to offer Legal Studies. Our Mock Trial team was coached by an incredible Barrister who inspired me and I became absolutely certain that I wanted to study law. Early role models such as teachers, public figures, and family members can have an enormous influence on what young people get passionate about and their vision for the future.

What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word ‘diversity’?

Australia, love and richness.

What do you think it will take to develop truly diverse thinking within the legal industry?

Although the legal profession has come a long way in terms of embracing change driven by globalisation, technology, the changing client relationship; there are many traditional mindsets that hold back more diverse thinking within the industry. Power and profit are still stronger influences on decision making than people. If we were designing systems and processes with a people first mindset they would look very different to the enduring operating model. Change will come when people are brave enough to truly examine the systemic barriers that still exist and take active steps to change the way things are done.

Katriina is CEO of a Human Agency and Co-Founder/Director of Cultivate Sponsorship