Right since the outset we have believed in gender equality, and when making all choices we assess individuals on the basis of their talent, personality and commitment.
This is why we have invested in women by supporting their career development, involving them in roles of responsibility and thereby promoting a meritocratic working environment that is richer and more stimulating.
It is our goal to ensure that all staff and professionals achieve the right work-life balance. For this reason for example, maternity leave, which is regarded by many firms in Italy to be incompatible with career development, is supported by us both financially and with specific organisational measures and policies. This means that the careers of mothers are not jeopardized in any way. In Portolano Cavallo, various women have become partners while on maternity leave and have proved to be an example for other young women at the firm, thereby demonstrating that it is possible to strike a balance between career and family life.
With 60% female-representation on our team (women account for 50% of partners and counsel and 92% of staff), including at present eight heads of department, our firm places a specific value on female figures, enabling them to strike the right balance between career and family, as explained by the partner Manuela Cavallo in the interview for Corriere della Sera available at this link (Italian).
According to the testimonies collected from Mag by legalcommunity.it the number of customers who take into account the composition of the team in the allocation of mandates is growing. Our HR manager Giorgia Vitanza describes, in this interview (Italian), the initiatives undertaken by Portolano Cavallo about diversity:
The attention that the firm has towards its female workers is confirmed by its inclusion among the Best Workplaces™ for Women 2018 Italy, a list of the 20 best working environments by Great Place to Work™ Italy. Portolano Cavallo is the first and only law firm to have ever been included in this ranking in Italy, listing the companies in which the female workers express the highest appreciation for a great workplace. The 20 companies composing the Ranking have been selected through a research conducted during 2017 among the female workers of 127 organizations. For further information, click here.
We also won at the “Women in Business Law Awards Europe 2020” as:
These awards reward law firms fostering the development of women in the legal profession and providing programs that allow professional growth and personal and family life balance.
Our beliefs and policies on diversity, implemented with perseverance, have been recognized in 5 shortlisted categories.
In 2019 the firm was also ranked as “Best Company” at the PWN Global Gender Balanced Leadership Awards, an award recognizing initiatives that accelerate gender balanced leadership in the workplace. On the same occasion, Manuela Cavallo qualified among the finalists for the Excellence in Women’s Empowerment category. Furthermore, we have been shortlisted at the very first European edition of Chambers’ Diversity and Inclusion Awards, hosted in Amsterdam in October 2019.
There are many projects and initiatives for the women’s support to whom the firm has decided to participate, like the SheTech Italy Association.
Technology is an integral part of our future. Any gender diversity must not exist in the use and knowledge of technology. This is why the law firm has decided to support since 2018 the SheTech Italy Association in its activities for the empowerment of women in the tech sector. Antonia Verna‘s interview for SheTech Italy is available at this link (Italian).
In 2013 and in 2015 we participated into the project Women, Business and the Law responding to the interview about gender differences in legal treatment in the different practice areas where women are involved in roles of responsibility, you can find our contribution at this link: https://bit.ly/2JxSW9r.
In 2015, as coordinators for Italy and in collaboration with the EWLA association, we took part in the project European Women Shareholders Demand Gender Equality (EWSDGE), funded by the European Commission, which aimed to give a picture of gender equality policies adopted by the Member States and of their state of implementation, with the intent of comparing these data, encouraging information sharing on these topics and proposing both to companies and to national and European legislators concrete actions for improvement.