The initiative is part of the program Women in the Profession (WIP) of the US Cyrus R. Van Center, which took place for the first time in Chile, sponsored by MB Abogados and Carey.
More than 200 lawyers from the most important firms in Chile and America attended the seminar ‘An interdisciplinary approach in the gender issue: challenge and good practices’ which took place in Santiago on March 20.
The initiative is part of the program Women in the Profession (WIP) of the US Cyrus R. Van Center, whose representatives in Chile are members of MB Abogados and Carey, institution that seeks to improve the position of women in the legal world, sharing best practices and professional development tools, and enhancing networking.
Some of the matters discussed in the seminar were: “The value of diversity in the labor world”, by Gonzalo Smith, In-house counsel of S.A.C.I. Falabella; a discussion panel regarding the “Different perspectives of the equality challenge”; and the speech of Tim Girven, Legal 500 editor regarding “Women in the Latin American legal market”.
The negative outlook presented by Tim Girven regarding the labor inequality experienced by lawyers in Chile and Latin America was one of the most questioning analysis of the day, highlighting the need of taking concrete actions to make a progress on this matter.
In that sense, Chile appears as one of the most backward countries in terms of female participation in the private practice, starting the period measured with the worst base among the countries studied (6.19%) to reach last year 14.6%; a figure similar to the one reached by Mexico of 14.59%, but that started from a slightly higher base (10.8%).
Other matters discussed were the need of transferring and working on the conscious biases that each person incorporates throughout their life and that hinders the progress of a greater gender equality at all levels. The speakers agreed that the formula for moving forward in this sense is not unique.
Carolina Menichetti, MB Abogados partner and one of WIP Chilean representatives indicated that the ideal scenario would be to promote women participation and talent retention without establishing any positive discrimination actions. “However, the current figures show that, in Chilean firms and in companies in general, it is not enough just to “not discriminate”, but rather to take concrete measures to increase inclusion and diversity. Without measures such as incentives, ‘comply or explain’, temporary quotas, etc., the progress will be very slow, with the consequent loss of talent”, she pointed out.