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Anna Apostolaki - An interview on the occasion of the World Women's Day

Anna Apostolaki - An interview on the occasion of the World Women's Day


Full Interview

  1. How important do you think equity is in the legal industry and why?

In recent years, in Greece, women make up over half of lawyers and judges. Two out of three Presidents of the Supreme Courts in Greece are women. In fact, an ex- president of one of the Supreme Courts, is now our President of the Hellenic Republic.

Therefore, when it comes to women participation in the legal industry in Greece, we cannot claim there is a lack of equity. On the other hand, what we do see, is that women are under-represented at senior levels in Greek law firms and in certain practice areas such as criminal law.  I am happy and proud to say that this is not the case at Tsibanoulis & Partners Law Firm.

In my view the legal industry needs equity to set a good precedent for other industries to follow. Equity in a workplace brings together employees from different backgrounds, attracts talent, enables creativity and innovation, and puts all perspectives on the table. These promote networking, keep employees happy and build cohesive teams focused on achieving positive results for the relevant undertaking.

  1. What steps can legal companies take to support and promote equity in their workplace or industry?

As in many other professional sectors, a key issue for many female professionals is the ability to combine career progression and personal life. To this end, legal companies must ensure a supportive environment and offer flexibility; so that professionals, who demonstrate determination and dedication to their work find a way, with proper scheduling of time, to achieve a work-life balance.

It goes without saying that to recruit and retain top talent, develop business, and elevate women leaders, legal firms should provide and secure equal pay and equal opportunities to accessing work experience, to mentoring and to networking opportunities.

  1. How can organizations like Meritas and the Women's Leadership Congress contribute to creating a more equitable legal industry?

Our law firm is a proud member of the Meritas top ranked worldwide legal network. Meritas is committed to strengthening a culture of diversity and inclusion within it, its member firms, and the legal industry on a worldwide basis. To this end the Meritas Women’s Leadership Congress furthers Meritas’ commitment to diversity and inclusion by creating a community that celebrates the path to leadership for women attorneys in the network. It practically enhances visibility, knowledge sharing, mentorship, and skills building.

  1. Have you experienced inequity or bias in your career? If so, how did you respond and what did you learn from the experience?

Sometimes in the early years of my career I was confronted with bias suggesting that women have superficial knowledge, they are not familiar to the needs of the business world, they lack the skillset to handle complex situations, or cannot work under time pressure.  

I successfully overcame this bias because I had confidence in myself. I showed adaptability, flexibility, and endurance. Ι feel fortunate because our Firm’s leadership did not encourage such biases and was very supportive in addressing them when they occurred.

  1. How do you think the theme of #EmbraceEquity can help raise awareness and promote change around issues of equity in the legal industry?

Such a campaign will contribute significantly to raising awareness and getting the point across, that we all need to step up from theory to practice. It will also help each one of us understand that we can all contribute to the right direction, by acting accordingly within our own sphere of influence. We can all play our small part in bringing a positive change.

  1. What are some specific actions or initiatives that firms and organizations can implement to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace?

We need to endorse a consistent approach in encouraging opportunities for all individuals regardless of their race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. We need to increase visibility and transparency in these matters. We need to encourage open communication and listen to diverse viewpoints. We need to step up efforts in business and professional development. And we also need to systematically offer training and resources on issues of diversity and inclusion.


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