MIAMI – Oct. 2, 2015 – International law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP in collaboration with UK publisher Chambers and Partners held a Summit on “The Role of Women and Diversity in the Corporate World” on Sept. 25 at the Greenberg Traurig Miami office.
Cesar Alvarez, Co-Chairman of Greenberg Traurig, opened the summit with welcome remarks, explaining the firm’s commitment to diversity. “Early on when Greenberg Traurig had 13 lawyers in 1973, the leadership of the firm thought it was important to hire both a female attorney and a Hispanic attorney,” Alvarez said. “Since then, our firm has understood that diversity not only matters but is also good business.”
Complementing the objectives of previous meetings, the two event panels focused on how to recruit, retain and promote women, and how best to educate the corporate world on the importance of diversity. In addition, a single breakout session addressed the unconscious biases that shadow women and other minorities throughout their careers, the leadership behaviors that can promote inclusion in business, the role that culture plays in gender diversity at corporations, the importance of gender and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership, and finally, the effectiveness of diverse executive teams.
“We all have inherent biases - every one of us; and what we now know from years of study is that the only way to address them is to become educated that you have them,” said Hilarie Bass, Co-President of Greenberg Traurig. “One of the things we’ve done at Greenberg is have experts meet with our attorneys to educate them on inherent biases so that we can make the decision-making process at our firm as objective as possible.”
The summit brought together female and male leaders from the business and legal industry in South Florida and Latin America to serve as speakers during both panel discussions. Panelists included: Alexander Acosta, Dean of FIU College of Law and former US Attorney for the Southern District; Hilarie Bass, Co-President of Greenberg Traurig; Valeria Chapa, General Counsel of Honeywell International; Kathleen Garrett, Head of the London Office of Arthur Cox; Roxana Kahale, Partner at Kahale Abogados; Patricia Menéndez-Cambó, Vice President and Secretary of Greenberg Traurig; Dee Sekar, Editor of Global Diversity at Chambers and Partners; Fernando Serec, Managing Partner of TozziniFreire; Ana Siegel, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Hispanic Enterprises & Content at NBCUniversal; Antonia Stolper, Latin America Regional Managing Partner of Shearman & Sterling; Catherine Smith, Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Brightstar Corp. and Daniel Winterfeldt, Founder of InterLaw.
“It is no secret that in the legal industry male lawyers outnumber females. This summit provided a forum to explore the measures we can take to encourage change through broader inclusion,” said Patricia Menéndez-Cambó, Vice President and Secretary of Greenberg Traurig. “I look forward to implementing the solutions discussed in order to promote diverse leadership in our companies.”
Antonia Stolper, Latin America Regional Managing Partner of Shearman & Sterling added: “As leaders, we are responsible for helping to ensure that careers are being managed and that we are introducing the people we lead to clients and empowering them to lead.”