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Association of Corporate Counsel Tampa Bay - Women General Counsel Group - Hidden Effects of Implicit Bias, Hilarie Bass of The Bass Institute on Diversity and Inclusion

After more than 35 years working in the male-dominated field of law, Hilarie Bass realized that companies are not doing their best to utilize all the valuable talent in the workforce. She founded the Bass Institute for Diversity & Inclusion because she knew firsthand that the problem of retaining and elevating women in the C-suite was far from solved.

Hilarie is a global evangelist for gender parity and an outspoken advocate for expanding the ranks of women leaders at corporations, nonprofits and other institutions.  She is also one of the most recognized attorneys in the United States, having served as co-president of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig from 2013 to 2018 and as president of the American Bar Association (ABA) from September 2017 to August 2018.  In late 2018, Hilarie left the law profession to launch the Bass Institute for Diversity & Inclusion.

Throughout her law career, Hilarie fought for greater participation for women in the top ranks of law firms. At Greenberg Traurig, in addition to heading the firm’s 600-member litigation department for eight years, she founded and chaired its Women's Initiative for many years. At the ABA, the world’s largest voluntary professional organization with more than 400,000 members, Hilarie traveled the world speaking about the insidious damage of implicit bias in the workplace and the importance of retaining and promoting female leaders.  She also created a task force at the ABA on implicit bias in the justice system.

During her illustrious 38-year career in litigation, Hilarie worked on landmark legal cases, including widely recognized pro bono work on behalf of two foster children that led to the elimination of the state of Florida’s 20-year-old ban on gay adoption. Hilarie is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invitation-only organization that includes only the top 1% of lawyers.  She was also consistently ranked among the top US lawyers by Chambers USA Guide, The Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon 500, Legal 500 United States, Florida Trend magazine’s “Legal Elite,” Super Lawyers and many others.