- Strength in Diversity
With female lawyers comprising the majority of its team, Jiménez Cruz Pena is deeply committed to empowering the Dominican women, who are a key component of the country’s economy. In the field of law, women of JCP have shown especially strong potential and strive for excellence. During JCP’s ten years of operation, the participation and demonstrated commitment of its women lawyers to the firm have contributed to its clients’ satisfaction and enabled its continued growth.
JCP actively promotes a culture of collegiality that reflects a strong interest in its employees achieving a life/work balance and professional success. The firm recognizes that women have a greater commitment than men in their personal lives and enables the women to achieve that balance by supporting their professional growth and providing flexibility in their schedules.
In 2012, Chambers and Partners selected Jiménez Cruz Peña as the winner of Best Gender Diversity Initiative in the Dominican Republic, one of the two 2012 Women in Law Awards introduced for the first time this year in Latin America, recognizing the law firms in the region who focus on promoting and retaining their female talent. JCP was one of the three leading law firms nominated for the award from the Dominican Republic. Among JCP’s strengths, Chambers Women in Law team noted its support of professional growth, flexibility working women require in their lives, talent promotion, and a mentoring program.
Retention of women lawyers. The women at JCP comprise 77% of its legal team and 50% of its partners. JCP can be truly proud of the long-term careers that the majority of its women lawyers have built together with the firm, despite the fact that women tend to leave law firms after a few years to raise children or take a less demanding position. Six of its women lawyers have been with the firm for eight to nine years, either continuously or with a break for studies and other career opportunities. The rest of the current legal team joined JCP coming from other distinguished national and international law firms or institutions, as the firm grew throughout the years.
Talent promotion. JCP actively encourages women starting their careers at the firm to grow professionally. Three of the current women lawyers have started working at JCP as paralegals while still in law school and have been offered associate positions upon obtaining their law degrees. In 2012, JCP promoted to partnership three of its senior associates, Vilma Veras, Katherine Rose, and Rosa Diaz, who head the firm’s corporate, banking and finance, and litigation departments, respectively. Katherine Rosa, who in 2006 left a successful in- house career in one of the largest local banks to join JCP, has the partnership track of only five years. JCP encourages its women lawyers to pursue continuing legal education by subsidizing their tuition. JCP fosters business developing opportunities for women lawyers by organizing and sponsoring social and professional events with the local business community.
Flexible schedules. Almost half of the women lawyers in JCP are also mothers who are able to successfully combine their busy schedule with family responsibilities. JCP recognizes their commitment and provides them with the opportunity to design their own schedule. Another contributing factor is the requirement of 1500 billable hours annually, with the graduated scale of incentives for achieving higher thresholds.
Informal Mentoring Program. All of the women partners have an open door policy and function as mentors for associates who are assigned to them, providing guidance, advice and support in professional choices. The mentoring circle includes all of the women lawyers and all women feel they can rely on support and advice from their team.