In one of the most impressive settings in Madrid, the Rafael del Pino Auditorium, the First Edition of the Legal Profession Equality Awards was held yesterday, granted by the General Council of the Spanish Lawyers (CGAE) and which had a brilliant climax, the journalist’s intervention Iñaki Gabilondo –Who was the one who gave the awards–, in which he explained why equality is important and what Spanish society is doing in it.
The winners were the Association of Women Lawyers, of the Alicante Bar Association, and the Association of Women Lawyers of the Valladolid Association, for their work in providing legal assistance to victims of gender violence and assaults.
Gabilondo delivered, to its highest representatives –Elena Reig Cruañez, by Alicante, and Rosa Gil, for Valladolid– the awards, consisting of a ceramic from Talavera. The two vindicated the work they have been doing.
The CGAE also awarded the Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was sentenced in 2019 to 38 years and six months in prison – of which she has to serve 17 – and 148 lashes, after holding two trials, for combating discriminatory and degrading Iranian laws and defending women’s rights.
The event was inaugurated at 12 in the morning with the presence of the Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, and the president of the National Commission of Markets and Competition, Cani Fernández Vicién, this telematics, together with Victoria Ortega.
During his speech, Campo recalled the launch of the first Justice Administration Equality Plan.
And he recalled, in a special way, the recent approval of the new General Statute of Spanish Lawyers – under his personal impulse and support – «which regulates, among other things, effective equality between women and men in the provision of collegiate bodies and promotes The conciliation”.
Cani Fernández, for her part, underlined the importance of celebrating the International Working Women’s Day and invited us to reflect on all that has been achieved so far.
And she asked herself: ‘How can we improve women? The world of law is populated at its top by men, I know it well. We have to transform the environment. We have to establish parameters for assessing the talent necessary to advance to the career. And we have to have the support of men. All support from men is little. Those of us who have arrived have that responsibility. We have to materialize friendly environments to help others.
The CGAE First Equality Awards event was organized around two round tables. The first was entitled “Salary gap, professional gap: A reality to be addressed.”
In the same they participated Íñigo Sagardoy de Simón, partner of Sagardoy Abogados, Patricia Madrona Garcia, Lawyer and Equality Agent of Cuatrecasas, Joan Martínez García, and Fernanda Alvarez Perez, lawyer, moderated by Joan Martínez García, dean of the Granollers Bar Association. As rapporteur Mary Help of Christians Borja Albiol, Dean of the College of Valencia.
In this framework, Sagardoy took the bull by the horns :. «There is an indisputable reality. There is that wage gap and that inequality. We have to do our part. Challenges: First, become aware that this exists. There are many firms that do not see it as a problem and are not aware of it. Second, combat the loss of talent due to the frustration that this generates. We should learn from big business. It is rare for law firms to have the objective of improving equality, making an equality plan or an equality policy ”.
Patricia Madrona recalled that the wage gap in the world of law was 10.7 percent, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics. “A gap that, with the pandemic, can widen up to 20 percent. The great challenge is to retain women, “he said.
The lawyer proposed a legislative reform that limits the acts of suspension of court hearings, to favor women who are, for example pregnant, and ordered the media to make an effort to combat the masculinized image of the profession.
Fernanda Alvarez, who was the lawyer of José Ignacio Abuin Gey, «El Chicle», murderer of the young woman Diana wants, He seconded Madrona’s proposal: “We must encourage pregnant women lawyers to propose suspension of judicial acts that do not affect the defendant.”
But he recalled that the biggest problem occurs in medium and small law firms. Above all the little ones. «In the legal profession, the less dedication, the less economic retribution. Álvarez put his finger on the wound by identifying one of the great obstacles to effective equality: «The problem is prejudice. They prevent us from progressing. Why do we charge less? For motherhood. Why is it the woman who sacrifices her career? There is the wage gap.
The second round table had as its approach “Keys to breaking the glass ceiling.”
In the same they participated Nieves Briz Doors, Managing Partner of Dentons and President of IWF Spain, Delia Maria Rodriguez Rodriguez, lawyer of Vestalia Asociados, and Alicia Muñoz Lombardy, Vice Secretary of the Santander Spain Council.
Modernized Luis Carlos Albo Aguirre, dean of the Oviedo Bar Association, and related it Guillermo Plaza Escribano, Dean of the Burgos Bar Association.
Nieves Briz Puertas made an intervention in the first person. He confessed that it had not been easy for him. His professional career is summarized in 30 years in large international law firms.
The figures, according to her, are not deceiving. «48% of the collegiate members between 24 and 30 years old are women. In offices, between 50 and 51%. Women have the best grades and more languages. There is no barrier to entry in offices. However, only 20% of women occupy a membership. And only 5.3% are managing partners ».
However, she acknowledged that, as far as she is concerned, she “couldn’t have gotten there without my husband’s help.” I am a partner and a mother. And I have had sons. In my opinion, you have to choose your travel companions very well. And you have to take action. You have to be convinced that this equality is a social issue that concerns us all.
In her speech Delia Rodríguez made reference to telework, which works. It makes us more effective. Motherhood – she added – is something biological. It can not be helped. That is why we have to reconcile ».
Alicia Muñoz Lombardía described a clear roadmap for change that could be bought by any political party. The roadmap that Santander has implemented with the support of Ana Patricia Botín, the president.
“You have to create a sense of urgency. Identify barriers and opportunities. A commitment must be established from the top of the companies, of the offices, so that women reach decision-making positions, “he said.
“You have to create a vision for change. You have to set goals. And you have to communicate that vision for change. Where we want to go. What is not measured does not exist. In Santander, women occupy 30% of managerial positions. and we have 40% director positions on the Board of Directors, “he added.
«We women think that for working like little ants they will recognize us. We must end that, with the Tiara syndrome, “he stressed.
The Tiara syndrome describes the passivity that women generally assume (not all) in their jobs, scrupulously fulfilling their duty, without making it noticeable, waiting for some boss to detect them and crown them with a tiara, in the form of a magnification. salary or recognition of some kind.
This term was coined by two women, Carol Frohlinger and Deborah Kolb, founders of Negotiating Women, who identified this problem as one of the glass ceilings that women have, who do not know how to sell what they are worth.
The conclusions corresponded to Maria Eugènia Gay and Marga Cerro, dozens of schools in Barcelona and Talavera de la Reina.
“Conciliation,” Gay said, “is still very far from the principle of co-responsibility.” He ended by stating that “feminism is fighting for freedoms, demanding more parity, equity and a gender perspective.”
Cerro, president of the CGAE Equality Commission, for her part, said that “leadership does not understand gender but results” and underlined the commitment to equality in professional associations.
The morning was enlivened by the musical performances of the Malaga singer-songwriter María Pelaé
And it ended with the classic family photo, all masked, as the times command.
The event has been subsidized by the Mutualidad de la Abogacía and Santander.
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Two women’s groups and Nasrin Sotoudeh, the jailed Iranian lawyer, equality awards from the CGAE – Confilegal