International Women’s Day – 8 March 2021 LDIA members proudly celebrated the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’s DAY 2021 by organizing various events in their respective offices. CMS organized an inspirational session at the occasion of IWD, focusing on setting up priorities and efficiently manage one’s calendars. This was given by Katie Challans from the training firm Priority Management. About 50 women from CMS Belgium and Luxembourg attended this 50 minutes session. VAN BAEL & BELLIS’ roundtable discussion gathered a gender-balanced group of speakers to discuss the role of women in the legal field over the years, and how to challenge gender bias and inequality. The roundtable discussion was followed by a Q&A session and a short quiz, where books on the topic were offered to the winners. The roundtable discussion was a great success, and an opportunity for all the firm’s members, lawyers and staff to exchange their views. STEPTOE Brussels organized an interactive event for #InternationalWomensDay. Participants were asked to share a photo of a woman they admire/respect and provide comments on the #ChooseToChallenge campaign to call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping. ALTIUS surprised each female in the organization with a well deserved gift: a bath rack with space for a book and a glass to relax during a little me-time. In addition, everyone in the office received an invitation to watch the extremely moving documentary “It’s a girl!” together over lunch. This film makes it painfully clear how lucky you are as a girl not to have been born in China or India, if you even get the chance to be born at all … EUBELIUS honored women who contributed to the personality of their Eubelians. OSBORNE CLARKE organised a session with a keynote speaker, a Q&A and an interactive discussion while walking or running in the Parc Royal. The keynote session was delivered by Diane Rosen, Director at Belfius Bank who talked about her experience as a women navigating her career in corporate leadership. Particularly, she covered topics such as dual careers/dual life, how to bold and exceed expectations, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, how profiles don’t need to match 100% (difference between men and women) and looking beyond gender. DENTONS decided to support a good cause and donate the money – they usually spend on a IWD breakfast – to the Think Pink Foundation. Dentons Women were also treated with some chocolates while letting them know about thedonation. LYDIAN used the IWD campaign to educate everyone in our office. We have used the entries to make a virtual video which they shared online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpnb6QOKHY4 SIMONT BRAUN hosted Dirk Van Gerven (managing partner at Nautadutilh) for a talk and debate on his book “Alle mensen zijn gelijk, ook vrouwen”. FRESHFIELDS organized a thought-provoking discussion with the following panel of international leaders from different fields of expertise: • Emily O’Reilly – European Ombudsman • Erica Whittaker – VP, Head of Corporate Venture Fund at UCB • Anna M. Hintze – Senior Legal Counsel Competition at Siemens AG • Nathalie Colin – Litigation Partner at Freshfields (Brussels) The panellists shared insights and experience on the ambitions, opportunities and challenges that have shaped their successful and dynamic career paths. To mark International Women’s Day CLEARY GOTTLIEB hosted a virtual event on March 8, aimed at connecting Cleary colleagues across the EME region. The event combined a fun poll quiz, highlighting remarkable women throughout history, and break-out discussions covering empowering women, thriving in this new work environment and achieving an equal future in a new world. WILSON SONSINI hosted an office lunch seminar, where they viewed a TEDTalk about designing gender bias out of the workplace. This was followed by a lively team discussion about personal experiences and what we can do on a daily basis to ensure gender parity, and a dedicated newsletter covering, among others, practical tips on how anyone can ensure that women receive fair and equitable support at work, tips on how to increase one’s impact and visibility in the workplace, statistics about gender parity and a list of remarkable women that we celebrate (compiled from suggestions across the team). HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS participated in an in-house presentation on gender and competition policy following the OECD’s Gender & Competition Policy Workshop at the end of February. The office reviewed the OECD’s ongoing projects to develop a more gender inclusive competition policy, touching on key issues such as gender in collusive behavior and in market definition, and public interest considerations. The Brussels office is continuing to monitor developments in this area. DLA Piper Belgium chose to focus on the glass ceilings in the law sector and possible tools to shatter them. In order to create a buzz beforehand, floatable hammers showed up in their Antwerp and Brussels office with the clue 08/03. Then on IDW they organized a webinar with Katrien Van der Heyden exploring the issues of gender equality, the challenges women face on the workfloor and how stereotypes shape our behavior. DLA has been sending out as well a series of daily newsletters highlighting the stories of women who broke glass ceilings in the legal sector and some recent gender statistics. BAKER BOTTS joined a webinar organized by This Can Happen. In these challenging times when this Covid-19 pandemic is long and impacting our lives, the decision to choose a webinar combining women specific questions and mental health was easily made. This Can Happen is presenting an overview of the challenges that women could face in the course of their professional life due to physiology and is sharing tips to deal with these in the best way possible. HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER celebrated IWD by asking their colleagues to send the name and a short explanation about a woman that inspires, amazes them. On their social media channels they did a short countdown, spread over a week, where one of their colleagues’ choice was revealed and why he/she/they selected that remarkable woman. They received a wide range of interesting portraits. The full list can be found here: https://www.hoyngrokhmonegier.com/news-insights/international-womens-day-volledig/ SHEARMAN & STERLING organized a virtual online cocktail event to enjoy a drink together and to support a local women-owned business. The cocktails came from www.cocktailmaison.be and the founder Ann-Sophie Verstraete spoke about her inspirational entrepreneurial journey. She had just started her low and no alcohol drinks business catering to restaurants when the lockdown happened. This pushed her to re-think her and pivot her business into a successful online cocktail delivery service. To commemorate this year’s IWD, SIDLEY watched the movie “On the Basis of Sex” together with their colleagues of the Geneva office. The movie tells the story of the inspiring life and career of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This movie was followed by a virtual lunch/discussion. MORRISON & FOERSTER celebrated IWD with two events on March 8: first a lunchtime Q&A with 4 great female clients who shared their experiences, learnings and tips for a successful career in law and business, in the context of this year’s IWD theme #ChooseToChallenge, and second a truly engaging and inspiring evening discussion with award-winning documentary filmmaker Shola Lynch. Shola Lynch, the Curator for Film, Moving Image, and Recorded Sound at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture chatted about her work, in particular Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed , which covers Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 campaign to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to the United States Congress in 1969. She was also the first woman and first African American of any gender to mount a credible campaign for a major party’s presidential nomination. MoFo made the documentary available to everyone before the discussion but it is also available on DVD. Find out more here (https://www.pbs.org/black-culture/shows/list/shirley-chisholm-women-in-politics/ To mark IWD, GIBSON DUNN organized a virtual roundtable about this year’s campaign theme #ChooseToChallenge. We had an interesting discussion over cake & coffee about what we think should be challenged in order to bring about change and create a more inclusive environment. On 8 March 2021, SLAUGHTER AND MAY and DE BRAUW BLACKSTONE WESTBROEK, together with members of Bredin Prat and Hengeler Mueller, held a panel discussion on “Gender Equality in the Workplace”, to which students of the College of Europe were invited. Topic of debate included what it’s like to have a career in a law firm and issues such as discrimination/unconscious bias in the workplace, work/life balance challenges and women’s leadership styles/challenges. During the event, the students were invited to vote on some statements on gender diversity and equality, which were then discussed by the panel members. In addition, on 11 March 2021, Slaughter and May’s Brussels office, organised in the framework of IWD, a virtual, sustainable (vegan), diverse (Peruvian), family-friendly (cooking) activity! Also, the members of the Brussels office were offered a small plant in celebration of IWD. In honor of this year’s IWD, YOUNITY organized an in-house panel discussion with its partners Laurence Markey and Elise Laeremans and its counsel Kevin Della Selva on gender equality. Throughout this interactive panel discussion, the panelists were able to raise awareness on the issue of gender equality and talk about and exchange points of view on how gender inequality can and should be tackled. This year’s IWD slogan is #ChooseToChallenge: from challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge. That’s why everyone at Younity raised their hand to show that they all #ChooseToChallenge!