Abadin Boosts the Number of Women on Bar Committees
By Jan Pudlow
It was by design that Ramón Abadin appointed more women to committees than any other Florida Bar president-elect.
“I am mindful of the disparity of women lawyers in positions of power in our profession,” Abadin said. “My wife is a lawyer. I have a young daughter. And I had the ability to influence the makeup of Bar committees. I chose to focus on recalibrating and providing opportunities for women on committees of The Florida Bar. They will ultimately be in a position to lead the committees and have more influence over the Bar and their own practices. And that’s a good thing.”
Abadin said he looked at strong recommendations from the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, its chapters throughout the state, and other minority and voluntary bars.
Where he could, he said, his first choice was to appoint qualified women.
The numbers back up his commitment to boost female representation on Bar committees.
The most recent year the Bar compiled statistics on total Bar membership (2014), 63 percent of Florida lawyers are men and 37 percent are women.
In March 2015, as Abadin sat down to make committee appointments as president-elect, 3,900 lawyers had submitted their preference forms to serve on Bar committees. Of those, 42 percent are female.
When Abadin finished making his committee appointments of 1,388 lawyers, 48 percent were women. That is 4 percent greater female representation on Bar committees than outgoing Bar President Greg Coleman’s 44 percent in 2014-15; past President Gene Pettis’ 42 percent in 2013-14; and past President Gwynne Young’s 38 percent in 2012-13.
Of 2,329 total members serving on Bar committees in 2015-16, 47 percent are female, compared to 37 percent of 2,128 total committee members in 2011-12.
“I think it’s important for a male to make a statement. It’s a correction that needs to be made,” Abadin said. “It’s the right thing to do.”