BonelliErede adopts female quota for governance board in diversity push

Leading independent emulates Italy's 'pink quota' for listed companies as it adds trio of women to board

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Italian firm BonelliErede has renewed its governance structure, appointing three women to its board as it looks to improve its gender balance at the senior level.  

The firm announced six new board members, including three women, will be joining re-appointed president Stefano Simontacchi and managing partner Andrea Carta Mantiglia to steer the firm as it looks to foster greater diversity and inclusion within its leadership team.  

The changes coincide with the firm’s introduction of a 'pink quota',  a requirement that will ensure the presence of at least one woman serving on its board.  

The newly appointed members are partners Giulia Bianchi Frangipane, Riccardo Bordi, Eliana Catalano, Massimiliano Danusso, Giuseppe Manzo and Silvia Romanelli. Stefano Nanni Costa will also return to serve another term on the board.  

In a joint statement, Simontacchi and Mantiglia said the leadership changes mark the next step in the firm’s growth journey, adding that it plans to “strive for sustainable development over time” and become a “law firm of the future”, as the environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement continues to gain traction among European law firms. 

There is an ongoing debate over the effecitiveness of quotas as opposed to targets as weapons to improve diversity. A procession of UK law firms have focused on the publication of diversity targets. However, the so-called 'pink quota' — a legislative measure first introduced by the EU in 2012 aimed at raising the proportion of women on the boards of large listed companies across the bloc to 40% — has played a role in improving corporate gender balance ratios in Italy, where women now make up a third of board members, according to a report by the European Institute for Gender Equality. 

Andrea Carta Mantiglia, managing partner of BonelliErede, said: “We see the pink quota in the broader context of diversity and inclusion. This will be a strong point for the firm going forward and as we continue to encourage female partners to run for elections to ensure greater female representation at the board level.”  

The firm will also be launching a new committee dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the coming weeks.  

“We currently have a corporate social responsibility committee which has implemented a number of ESG-related initiatives, but we felt it necessary to create a separate committee to reflect our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation.”  

Meanwhile, the firm also promoted four lawyers to partner in a demonstration of its ongoing commitment to organic growth, adding litigation and arbitration duo Massimo Baroni and Chiara Mancini alongside tax specialist Francesco Saverio Scandone to the partnership in Milan, as well as banking and finance expert Francesca Marchetti in Rome.  

The promotions bring the firm’s partner tally to 87, with a total of 720 professionals across its eight offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  

A number of law firms have been electing women to senior roles lately. Last week, Ashurst announced UK corporate head Karen Davies as its first female global chair, while Linklaters appointed global corporate head Aedamar Comiskey as its first female senior partner in its almost 200-year history.  

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