IBA wins at UK’s Women & Diversity in Law Awards

Wednesday 10 April 2024

The International Bar Association (IBA) has won the Women & Diversity in Law AwardsGender Equality Initiative of the Year Award for its 50:50 by 2030: A longitudinal study into gender disparity in law project (the Project) – an initiative of IBA President Almudena Arpón de Mendívil Aldama. The IBA also won Best Not-for-Profit Organisation of the Year.

Sara Carnegie, IBA Legal Projects Director and Project lead said: ‘We are delighted to receive the 2024 Gender Equality Initiative of the Year Award in recognition of the IBA 50:50 by 2030 gender parity project. To everyone involved I extend heartfelt thanks for all the contributions, without which this Award will not have been possible. The 50:50 by 2030 Gender Parity in the Legal Profession initiative demonstrates the IBA’s desire and commitment to achieving equality across all legal sectors around the world. Learning from each other is key to success – what works and why? Looking at both the data and understanding lived experience in the next phase of our long-term project will be key to raising awareness further, sharing best practice and attaining greater balance within the legal profession. We also give thanks to IBA President Almudena Arpón de Mendívil Aldama for being the inspiration to embark on this project that has led to winning this Women & Diversity in Law Award.’ 

Beatriz Martinez, IBA Project Lawyer leading the work on the 50:50 by 2030 Gender Project collected the Award and said: ‘I would like to thank all the law firms, companies, public and judicial sector entities who have taken part in the 50:50 by 2030 Gender Project so far. Without the combined efforts of bar associations, law societies and legal workplaces, this project would not have gone as far as it has. This unique initiative is only as impactful as the commitment to gender equality from the whole legal profession.’ She added: ‘It was amazing to achieve this award and to be at the ceremony to collect it too.’

The IBA’s and LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation’s 50:50 by 2030 Gender Project, inspired by Goal 5 of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was launched on International Women’s Day in 2021. One of five priorities of Ms Arpón de Mendívil during her two-year IBA presidency, the project is to be spread over a period of nine years to uncover and challenge the root causes of gender inequality at senior levels of the legal profession and to track progress of achieving equal representation of women in these positions.

The project spans all sectors from public, private and the judiciary, and is being conducted in 20 countries across the world in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. To date, six reports have been completed, which can be downloaded free of charge from the IBA website. The project, with the support of the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation, is to culminate in blueprint guidelines for gender parity for the legal profession by 2030. 


Ian McDougall, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of LexisNexis Legal & Professional, and President of the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation said: ‘On behalf of all my colleagues, I am delighted with the recognition bestowed on the IBA by this award. We strongly believe diversity and inclusion are critical to our future and the Foundation is honoured to partner with the IBA on this very important and ambitious project, by contributing our core business assets – survey and reporting tools, analytics, visualisation capabilities and our committed employee volunteers! My sincere congratulations to the entire IBA team!

The IBA also received an award for Not-for-Profit Organisation of the Year. IBA officers, members and staff collaborate extensively on a range of innovative projects addressing important issues that affect not only the profession but also the wider global society. As the global voice of the legal profession, the IBA, through the work of its specialised committees and its global reach, influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession. As an example, the IBA develops country-specific, as well as international, guidelines for the profession that are widely adopted bringing harmony to cross-border transactions. Anurag Bana (pictured on the left), Senior Project Lawyer in the IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit collected the commendation award.

The Awards ceremony brought together law professionals from several disciplines and representatives of not-for-profits organisations to celebrate projects in diversity, equity and inclusion. It was held on 13 March at The Brewery, London, United Kingdom.


Notes to the Editor

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  2. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

    The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for the administration of justice, fair practice, and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, The Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.

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