Claudia Gonzalez Montt – GC Powerlist
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Central America 2018

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Claudia Gonzalez Montt

General counsel | Walmart Central America

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    Central America 2018

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    About

    As the general counsel of Walmart Central America, Claudia Gonzalez Montt joined the retail giant’s legal team as general counsel in August 2016 and currently leads a legal team of approximately 40 attorneys and professional staff and a security team of approximately 50 associates in five markets of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Due to the varied breadth of her role, Gonzalez highlights she had to quickly understand that she needed to invest a lot of time and effort in hiring and developing the talent of her team, adding ‘the team members are everything’. She continues: ‘I have had a great experience during my career, not only on the legal aspects but the closeness with the business has allowed me to understand how I can add value and to empower my team to act accordingly, having an open mind and finding new ways to help the business develop and succeed’. Gonzalez has successfully changed the mind-set of the legal team by creating a team that serve as partners of the business, ensuring less risk and efficient and faster solutions. She has strengthened this by encouraging the team to visit stores, plants and logistics centres to learn and to understand the business, procedures and the needs of the internal clients. She has also moved the team to contribute with the business in other aspects. Last year she led the legal department to train more than 300 small and medium size companies regarding legal aspects which are integral for the development of the business. Other projects that she has been involved in include her participation in several other projects such as the Private Brand project consisting in being the sensory panel through corporate affairs, additionally giving advice to a group of women, which were in social risk on how to initiate their business. One of her career highlights includes when she was in charge of the legal matter for the financial services division of Walmart Chile, she explains it was a time where few women were in executive positions, and the business thought that lawyers were “stones in shoes”. ‘I understood that if I wanted to change this perception and contribute to the business I needed to be closer to the business, closer to my internal clients. I needed to be in the room where things happen’, says Gonzalez. It is to this end that Gonzalez is at the forefront of diversity initiatives and is currently the president of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for Walmart Central America and was selected to participate on the “Board of Women Program” from Universidad Diego Portales and Mujeres Empresarias Foundation.

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