Ana Luci Grizzi, Attorney, Veirano Advogados
How long have you been working for your current company?
Briefly explain your career history and what led you to your current position.
I am a senior attorney, graduated in 2000, obtained an expert degree in 2003 and a master degree in 2008. Currently, I am the national coordinator of the Environmental Law Department of Veirano Advogados in Brazil.
What is your proudest professional achievement and why?
I am a recognized environmental lawyer in Brazil, with recommendations from Chambers Latin America, Latin Lawyer and Análise Editorial.
What are the greatest challenges that you face in your current role and what do you do to overcome them?
Dealing with people and attending to clients within a short-term period. I am currently structuring my team so that we are able increase our responsiveness to clients.
How difficult is it for you personally to attain work-life balance and how do you endeavour to do this?
I have 2 children at home (a 3-year old boy and a 9-month girl) and I do my best to concentrate on my work during the week days and my weekends and holidays are 100% dedicated to my family. I try as hard as possible to concentrate ´in the moment´for example if I am working, I do not call home every hour. If I am with my family, I avoid checking e-mails every 10 minutes.
Did you have a mentor or role model in your career or while you were studying law? Who were they and how did they help you?
Unfortunately, I haven't had a model/mentor but experienced working with bosses whose skills were somewhat lacking. Of course that such situations were a great learning experi for me as I learnt that my team will work better the better they are treated and respected. Our most precious assets in law firms are people!
How effective do you think corporate diversity initiatives are? What methods do you think are most effective and why?
In the Brazilian legal industry, I do not know any initiatives related to corporate diversity. Right now, we are facing a change in the ´basis´ of law firms: we have more women at law school, thus, our number of women trainees is increasing. Corporate diversity will only be effective if and when we can prove that our maternity periods shall not be faced as losses nor represent obstacles to postpone promotions.
Were there any points in your career when you felt you were at a disadvantage or at an advantage because you were female?
Not directly. If we analyze the number of women partners in law firms in 2012, we could state that we, are in fact, at a disadvantage. However, I also believe that the present situation reflects our Brazilian background when only men used to study and women were educated to be housewives. Therefore, I expect this scenario to change in the near future – hope the next generation will reach partnership faster than mine!
What do you think have been the most significant changes for women in the legal industry over the past five years?
As we have more women in law school, our position in the legal industry is in constantly changing. I do believe that in the next 10/15 years, the number of women partners will be much higher than now.