Rachel Baird

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

I guide my team to ensure the API provides high quality education choices to property professionals to reduce risk and enhance confidence in their professional services. I also manage membership services and am responsible for future proofing the membership of the API.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

In truth it was curiosity. I am driven by a desire to understand why and law was a way to understand how society is governed, to gain insight into human behaviours and to help out those in need.

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

Experience; thought process and personality

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

A move away from traditional roles and hours. Gender diversity at the top won’t happen if it is impossible for women to juggle parenting with the demands of a legal career. Our common law legal system means that students from civil law nations will be less likely to study here or move here to practice law. As a result we have a homogenous profession. We need to encourage a diverse student population which more accurately represents the Australian demographic. We do this by removing financial barriers to studying law. When I taught at UQ law- it appeared that 99% of first years were from GPS schools. What does that say for diversity of thought, social and economic backgrounds and understanding of community?

Rachel is General Manager, Professional Development and Education at Australian Property Institute.