Good practices that increase the presence of women
Implementation of policies such as telework and conference flexibility explain the progress made in our office and in Costa Rica in general.
Chile is one of the most backward countries in terms of female participation in the private practice of law in Latin America, according to data released by the publication The Legal 500, which noted in its latest report that women represent only 14.6% of all lawyers -the lowest rate in the region, and that the difference is even worse at the partnership level, where women constitute only 7.36% of all law firm partners in Chile.
This reality is far different from countries such as the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Costa Rica. In the case of the latter, a partner at the BLP law firm, Vivian Liberman, has been one of the main promoters of gender equity.
In the framework of the international seminar “Pro bono, Human Rights and Good Corporate Practices”, the expert told Diario Financiero of her experience and relationships in achieving an effective impetus in the career of women in private legal practice, unlocking the barriers that hinder their career advancement “in conservative work environments”.
The firm, of which she became a partner eight years ago, pioneered the creation of gender equality committees to increase female participation. One of the main diagnoses was the rigidity with which law firms traditionally operate and their poor compatibility with family life, which led to reflection on “good labor practices”. This reflection led to the emergence of initiatives in teleworking, the reduction of working hours and the creation of breastfeeding rooms.
Another milestone was the recruitment processes without detailing the gender or including photographs, in order to base the evaluation strictly on the curriculum and “not to lose a talented individual by a personal criterion”.
Liberman emphasizes the importance of these initiatives being accompanied by greater education in terms of gender parity and awareness on issues such as strengthening the family role of men.
The success of the new policies was resounding, she says. “We even had clients who preferred us because they could come with their children to the firm’s office”. Such efforts led to an increase in the percentage of women partners at BLP to 33%, which in her opinion is still low.
“The implementation of gender quotas is important in a first stage, because it allows a faster jump,” as more women produce a greater contribution of viewpoints and raise the creativity of the law firms.
* Original article of the newspaper Diario Financiero de Chile in the following link: https://www.df.cl/noticias/empresas/entre-codigos/las-buenas-practicas-que-suben-la-presencia-de-las- women / 2019-03-29 / 191614.html