Legal Business Blogs

International Women’s Day 2022: Teresa Zueco, managing partner, Squire Patton Boggs in Madrid

Which woman most inspired you in your legal career and why?

My first ‘boss’ Margaret Civetta, corporate partner at DLA Piper and previously at Dewey LeBoeuf. She was an extraordinary woman. She became a corporate partner at a time when there were only few female corporate partners. She was a great mentor. She lifts everybody up who knows her. She has always led associates by example – she is a hard worker and a graceful person.

What advice do you have for aspiring female lawyers?

Work thoroughly and with passion on every piece of work, no matter the size of the deal or the relevance of the document. Second, keep focused and be impermeable to pressure. And, finally and above all, enjoy your journey to achieve your goals (whatever they are).

This year’s IWD theme is ‘BreakTheBias’ on gender inequality, discrimination and stereotypes – how biased is the Spanish commercial legal market these days and what is the change that most needs to happen?

We have made progress. It would be unfair to argue that we haven’t. Corporations have more readily acknowledged that diversity pays dividends. In respect of law firms, there is no legal discrimination or conscious bias but there are still attitudinal barriers rooted in societal stereotypes and unconscious affinity bias, for example around networking. Fortunately, we already know that unconscious bias is the ‘silent killer’ of diversity and we’re working against it. We need to continue moving in the right direction: mentoring and training diverse talent, being blind to looks and background to open our eyes only to meritocracy. We need to force ourselves to spend time and exchange ideas with people who are different from us so we can learn and grow.