Event Report

In a vibrant display of commitment to fostering equality and opportunity, the Diversity & Inclusion Forum Colombia 2024, in association with Holland & Knight, unfolded as a beacon of progressive dialogue and actionable insights. Held against the backdrop of Colombia’s rich cultural tapestry, the event provided a platform for luminaries from diverse sectors to converge and shed light on the path toward a more inclusive society, addressing pressing issues and exploring strategies for improvement.

The discourse encapsulated multifaceted dimensions, ranging from equal opportunity initiatives to the development of diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs.

Mauricio Vélez, director of sustainability of Asobancaria, reiterated how the imperative of embracing diversity is not merely a moral imperative but a catalyst for innovation. For instance, his team involves an engineer, a philosopher, a sociologist, and so on, emphasising that inclusivity breeds creativity and fosters the development of novel solutions.

María Fernanda Quiñones, executive president of Cámara Colombiana de Comercio Electrónico delved into the intricate dynamics of bridging the rural-urban gap, shedding light on the challenges and opportunities inherent in this endeavor. Mentioning the disparities between rural and urban communities, she highlighted the urgency of ensuring equitable access to digital resources and the pressing need for comprehensive strategies to narrow this divide and empower marginalised communities.

Turenna Ramírez, partner of Holland & Knight Mexico shed light on the evolving landscape of client expectations. The assertion that clients increasingly demand diverse legal representation underscored a seismic shift in the legal profession’s ethos. The integration of diversity isn’t merely a moral imperative but a strategic imperative, with clients placing greater value on inclusive legal teams.

Ana María Gomez, president of Asoleche offered a poignant reflection on the gender dynamics within Colombia’s agricultural landscape, epitomised by the disparity in ownership within the dairy sector. The statistics, revealing that only 8% of dairy farm owners are women, underscored the urgency of dismantling systemic barriers and empowering women to claim their rightful place as leaders in agriculture.

Inés Elvira Vesga, partner of the Firm and chair of Holland & Knight’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee Colombia, moderated the panel discussions with finesse and insight and ensured that all voices were heard and that the dialogue remained focused, productive and engaging.

As mentioned by Enrique Gómez-Pinzón, HK Executive Partner, Holland & Knight’s commitment to fostering an inclusive culture woven into the fabric of the firm’s policy while underscoring the symbiotic relationship between diversity, client satisfaction, and business success. In essence, the Diversity & Inclusion Forum Colombia 2024 stood as a testament to Colombia’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity and progress. As delegates departed, they carried with them not only insights but a renewed sense of purpose, poised to champion diversity and inclusion in their respective spheres, catalysing positive change for generations to come.

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