At ONTIER equality is a core value

International Women’s Day is an excellent time to remember the importance of women visibility, both in the legal industry and in society as a whole, and to vindicate the path towards real and material equality between men and women

For ONTIER, a law firm that has sought to be innovative both in its commitment to global action without losing its local identity, a common issue within the legal industry, and in its solid conviction that you cannot be a good legal professional without putting people at the forefront of your values, the role and talent of the women who work in the firm is essential.

A few months ago, Carmen Bascarán Fanego (pictured) was appointed managing director of ONTIER, a position rarely held by women in the legal industry. From this strategic position, she is committed to ensuring that being a woman “is never, as it is not at ONTIER, an obstacle to being able to develop talent and hold any kind of position. 60% of our workforce are women and, no less important, a third of our partners are also women”, good proof that at ONTIER, says its managing director, “equality is a core value for us, something we take very seriously.”

Women will be starring this article to share their stories, their experiences and their aspirations.

In the opinion of ONTIER Peru lawyer Yessenia Paredes, the firm’s lawyers “are women who fight to the point of exhausting all legal resources; judicious in their thoughts but without abandoning the feelings that arise when accepting an assignment and who see clients as real people in the first place in order to provide a solution to the problem” but, above all, “tireless in their search for professional excellence.”

Parvati Reyes from Mexico believes that “ONTIER is inclusive and is family, regardless of your gender, you are important and your voice counts here. There is no ladder: just a team in which everyone’s presence is just as important.”

ONTIER Italy country manager Carmen Fernández Vadillo points out that “the options to develop a full career at ONTIER are identical: men and women have the same opportunities. Moreover, contrary to what happens in many companies, ONTIER does not penalise motherhood but, on the contrary, helps “new moms” to combine such a demanding job as ours with motherhood.”

ONTIER Bolivia partner Andrea Antelo states that “female talent brings diversity, providing a different vision when it comes to problem-solving. Women are known for their ability to do different things at the same time and I feel that this is a great contribution to ONTIER. For me personally, I don’t waste a minute in the office because then I have to get home to take care of my duties as a mom.

ONTIER Spain lawyer Mercedes Benito says “I am lucky to be in a firm that values its lawyers for their ability, involvement and effort, regardless of their gender. At least that is my perception, although I understand that this has not always been the case in the legal industry. Fortunately, this conception is being left behind and ONTIER is a law firm that is committed to talent.”

María Giovanna Bruni, lawyer at ONTIER Italy, believes that being a lawyer at this firm allows you to combine all aspects of being a woman with “the professional satisfaction of practising law and feeling that you have a second family to rely on, as well as a team of colleagues with whom you can achieve your goals.”

From the United States, Marta Corbí says she has never thought about what would happen “if I were a man instead of a woman. And I think that comes from the great model of the firm, because we have a large number of women in leadership positions, which makes you aware of the opportunities that exist. And in previous generations this would have been almost impossible because the presence of a woman was something exceptional.”

Dania Al-Bayati, Natalie Willoughby and Sara Saleh sum up their work in the firm’s UK office in three meaningful words: “Family, Challenges, Career”.

These references from the ONTIER team can help to encourage the entire Legal industry and society as a whole to move forward steadily along the path of equality, the path opened by other pioneering women lawyers such as Clara Campoamor in Spain, the American Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the Indian Cornelia Sorabji, Sarmiza Bilcescu in Romania, the British Harriette Pankhurst, Elena Caffarena in Chile and the Italian Lidia Poet.

This March 8, ONTIER will be sticking to its motto #ontierisnotthesame more than ever.

Desire Vidal