Championing Change: Insights from Delinian’s Women in Business Law Awards Editor, John Harrison

Directories and Rankings

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, many organizations are celebrating the remarkable contributions of professional women who have overcome multiple challenges and adversity – (and there are so many!!) to become trailblazers in their chosen fields. These women frequently inspire change and ideas at the clients they work for, shape legislation impacting their industries, and act as mentors for those who follow.  

One of those organizations is Delinian, which has been publishing Women in Business Law Awards for some years. We caught up with editor John Harrison: 

Q: What have you noticed overall about the award submissions received and the impact of women lawyers in their given practice areas or industries?  

JH: Entries to the Women in Business Law Awards have become much more detailed over the last five years. Firms are detailing amazing leadership endeavours by women lawyers, both within their given practice specialisms, as well as in firm initiatives that grow and promote, not only women, but various historically underrepresented groups in the practice of law. 

It is without a doubt that women lawyers have been having a major positive impact on the practice areas and industries in which they practice. We are seeing more and varied companies across the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific where women are taking on the lead counsel roles. 

Likewise, we are seeing practice specialisms, such as securities litigation in the US, and industry advisors, such as in the Life Sciences in EMEA, where women have started to take over as the key leaders.

Q: With innovation at the heart of the Women in Business Law Awards, what do you think – and admittedly generalizing for a moment – women lawyers bring to these practices, industries, and categories that can sometimes be missing with male counterparts? 

JH: Many women lawyers develop innovation, not only in getting deals done, but in making their firms and the legal industry a better place through their work. We have seen that the leading women lawyers make time to be mentors, sponsors, and are highly engaged with initiatives that help the next generation of lawyers grow and not be held back by “how things have always been done.” 

This innovation has been seen globally, where women have produced unique ways of engaging with sensitive subject matter to help everyone in the firm better understand the struggles and trials of their colleagues. 

This kind of innovative thinking is not left to the firm alone, we have also seen many women lawyers taking on leadership roles in industry group, boards of companies, and within their communities.

In June 2024, Women in Business Law Awards will present the winners of the 2024 EMEA awards, celebrating the most ground-breaking achievements by the region’s leading female lawyers and the most progressive law firms in terms of their gender policies, advocacy, and support of women in law. 

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