The gender equality efforts of leading global law firm Baker McKenzie were recognized at the annual Chambers Women in Law Awards: Latin America 2018 on Thursday. The Firm’s commitment to supporting female lawyers saw them receive nine nominations, the most of any law firm. Claudia Prado, immediate past chair of, and the first woman to lead, Baker McKenzie’s Latin American Regional Council (LARC), received the “Inspiring Role Model for Furthering Women Lawyers” accolade, recognizing her leadership in supporting the advancement of women in their legal careers. Prado commented, "I have been fortunate to have role models who inspired me to reach the highest levels in my career. I am very humbled with this award which now also recognizes me as an inspiring role model for younger lawyers. I hope my example motivates women in our profession to aspire to climb to the top and never give up."
Baker McKenzie and its lawyers were nominated in the following categories:
- Inspiring Role Model for Furthering Women Lawyers: Claudia Prado
- Outstanding Ally for Women’s Advancement: Carlos Dodds, Argentina
- Brazil Lawyer of the Year: Anna Mello, Trench Rossi Watanabe, a Brazilian law firm in cooperation agreement with Baker McKenzie
- Chile Lawyer of the Year: Valentina Venturelli
- Colombia Lawyer of the Year: Claudia Benavides Galvis
- Mexico Lawyer of the Year: Maria del Rosario Lombera
- Peru Lawyer of the Year: Ana Maria Arrarte
- Venezuela Lawyer of the Year: Adriana Goncalvez
- Best Gender Diversity Initiative: Baker McKenzie Peru
Regional Chair of Baker McKenzie in Latin America Jaime Trujillo stated, "We are proud that Chambers has awarded Baker McKenzie for its commitment to gender equality in the legal profession Latin America. Diversity and Inclusion have been hallmarks of the Firm’s culture for decades because we recognize that different viewpoints drive innovation. Through our ongoing efforts, we remain committed to achieving greater gender equality in our industry.”
Prado was formerly a recipient of the 2016 Chambers Latin America Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession. In addition, she was a past Chair of the Firm’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee where she spearheaded initiatives to promote equality across the Firm.
Commenting on Prado’s award, Trujillo added, “Claudia has been a champion for women in the legal industry throughout her career. She is an inspiring role model, not just for the women of Baker McKenzie, but for all the young attorneys who pursue a career in law.”
Among Baker McKenzie’s most innovative Diversity & Inclusion programs is bAgile, a global telecommuting policy that supports a healthy work-life balance and greater autonomy by giving lawyers more flexibility in setting their own work hours. In addition, the Firm has launched diversity and gender equality initiatives to respond to the needs of its lawyers and staff throughout the region. In Lima, Baker McKenzie implemented Contigo Mama, a comprehensive program that assists new mothers returning to the workplace. Similarly, the Firm’s Mexico and Colombia offices supports parents making flexible arrangements as they return to their jobs while balancing family life.
Baker McKenzie is also proud to have been the first law firm to adopt aspirational gender targets to support the career growth of its female lawyers and business services professionals. Today, over 30% of the local partners in the region are women, as are 55% of its entire staff, including legal and business services professionals.