Yooree Lee

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

I currently work in the United States and Indo-Pacific Strategy Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My work contributes to Australia’s regional maritime security engagement in Southeast Asia, which involves extensive legal capacity building and advocacy work in the region.

What was your main driver to enter the legal industry?

I wanted to be an advocate for vulnerable people.

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

Inclusion, barriers, scary.

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

The evidence is clear. Diversity in ethnic, racial, gender, background, sexual orientation in the workforce leads to better ideas and better outcomes. Those in position of leadership should ensure that we create inclusive organisations in which diversity is not only tolerated but embraced. It requires a consistent and conscious commitment to addressing the barriers that stand in the way of this (affinity bias, resistance to change, suspicion).

Yooree is a Policy Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.