IBA to be led by woman for first time in 20 years

woman will head the International Bar Association for the first time in 20 years. Almudena Arpón de Mendívil, a partner at Madrid firm Gomez-Acebo & Pombo also becomes the second woman to hold the position in the association’s 76-year history.

Gender equality in the legal sector is one of five key themes that Arpón de Mendívil y Aldama will focus on during her two-year tenure at the association, which in 2021 embarked on a major global project to uncover the root causes of the lack of gender parity at the most senior levels of the legal profession.

Almudena Arpo?n de Mendi?vil

Almudena Arpo?n de Mendi?vil

In an IBA report on Spain’s legal sector, Arpón de Mendívil described equality as being at the centre of law. ‘A female presence at the highest levels of our sector in numbers that at least match the numbers of men will be the litmus test to prove that gender equality really works. Such a presence will also be the most powerful tool to articulate the conditions for gender equality across the legal architecture: in the drafting of rules, their application and their interpretation,’ she said.

Arpón de Mendívil y Aldama has been a member of the IBA for 25 years and has held positions including vice president, treasurer and chair of the legal practice division.

She said: ‘My aspiration as president of the IBA is to steadily elevate the association to the next level. Our profession, through a global association as the IBA, has a great opportunity as well as the responsibility of assuming a leading role in upholding the rule of law, democracy, and human rights across the world and thus having a positive impact in society.’

The IBA was established in 1947, shortly after the UN was created. Its membership consists of 80,000 international lawyers, and 190 bar associations and law societies.