Shearman & Sterling LLP multinational law firm headquartered in New York City, United States.

News Mar 18, 2019

Shearman & Sterling Awarded Paris Bar Prize for Equality

Shearman & Sterling is pleased to announce that on March 11, 2019, the firm was awarded the inaugural Grand Prize for Professional Equality (“Grand Prix de l’Egalité Professionnelle”) by the Paris Bar, in recognition of its innovative and outstanding contribution to the promotion of equality.

The firm was distinguished for its initiatives for equal pay, career development opportunities, work–life balance, diversity and inclusion, as well as other actions in favor of every aspect of equality, which the jury described as “balanced, thoughtful in its policy and well-rounded.”

The award ceremony was held at the end of the “Assises de l’Egalité,” an inaugural one-day program jointly organized by the Paris Bar and ELLE Magazine to discuss existing and emerging best practices related to gender equality in the legal profession (click here for more information). The event took place at the Maison du Barreau in Paris, in the presence of the Head of the Paris Bar Ms. Marie-Aimée Peyron, Deputy Head of the Paris Bar Mr. Basile Ader, and many other distinguished guests. The prize was received on behalf of the firm by partners Yas Banifatemi and Guillaume Isautier, who both serve as Deputy Heads of Shearman & Sterling’s Paris office.

“This prize is a great opportunity to both celebrate our achievements and remember that the road ahead is still long,” commented Yas Banifatemi, who supports and oversees the Paris office’s women’s empowerment group Shearman#Elles. “We will continue our current path, supporting or implementing initiatives aimed at achieving equal representation of women and men, in the legal profession and elsewhere. We will also remain heavily engaged in initiatives for equality in the field of education, which is one of our priorities.”

Emmanuel Gaillard, Managing Partner of the Paris office, added: “We are honored and proud to have been awarded the prize for professional equality. This is a testament to our firm’s exceptional commitment to promote equality and diversity. We are determined to achieve gender diversity in the workplace and fully support an environment where women and men have equal career development opportunities.”

With its own visual identity based on the three first letters of the firm’s name (“She”), Shearman#Elles is open to all, women and men, lawyers, staff, interns and management in the firm. The group holds monthly internal events and discussions. It is also involved in external community and social responsibility initiatives, with a special focus on supporting children’s education and their right to equal opportunities.

Shearman#Elles’ past accomplishments have included: 

  • a fundraising event on International Women's Day, during which 71 kg of clothes and accessories, as well as €6,300  were collected and donated to various charities and foundations;
  • a special event in support of the Girl Rising campaign to raise awareness for girls’ education and the need for empowerment;
  • school programs to give young students in disadvantaged areas insight into the legal profession and prepare them for their professional future by helping them develop and improve written and oral skills;
  • an internal mentoring program to accompany and support young women in our firm in their career development;
  • exchanges with inspiring women leaders, such as Chiara Condi, founder of Led by Her, a non-profit organization which helps domestic abuse victims rebuild their lives through entrepreneurship; and
  • screenings of movies on the lives of extraordinary women, followed by open discussions.

Shearman#Elles will take its actions to the next level in 2019, working alongside Sandra Bang, Shearman & Sterling’s first Chief Diversity & Talent Strategy Officer, and actively participating in the firm’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.