II Edition of the Women in a Legal World Awards

"Thank you for looking forward and continuing to build a more equal world. Everyone here has something in common: commitment. With society, with the institutions, with companies, with the people. Everybody, you are part of the family WLW. These are hard times that we are living. Uncertainty weighs on everyone, but we can't stand still. We have to look forward and keep moving forward together, in network. Today more than ever this private public collaboration is necessary so as not to take a step back in the loss of rights and, of course, not in the promotion of women to managerial positions.” he claimed Marlen Estévez, WLW's President within the framework of the inauguration of the II Edition of the Awards Women in a Legal World.



  • Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, President of the Council of State receives the award of Honor from WLW.

Networking WLW Honor Award has been awarded to María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, who on every occasion that can publicly, always dedicates her awards to all those women who have fought for freedom remembering the words of Simone de Beauvoir when she said that “freedom is only complete if you are committed to something”.

In defense of the award, la presidenta de WLW, Marlen Estévez has highlighted that one of the common denominators of Fernández de la Vega's long professional career is his pioneering character. Has been "The first woman to access and occupy certain positions of responsibility in the history of Spain": was the first female first vice president, Minister of the Presidency and spokesperson for the Executive with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero; the first female member of the Judges for Democracy association, and the first female president of the Council of State, has exposed.

From her time as Vice President of the Government, she was very interested in the role of women in the African continent. She promoted the Network of Spanish and African Women for a Better World, with the participation of UN Women, the Spanish Government and civil society organizations. After his departure from the Executive, Fernández de la Vega created the Women for Africa Foundation, of which she is currently executive president.

Law degree from the Complutense University and a degree in Community Law from the University of Strasbourg, She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her professional career and for her defense of women's rights. In addition to Doctor Honoris Causa from the Menéndez Pelayo International University, has received the Grand Cross of the El Sol Order of Peru, the Isabel de Villena Award, the Tomás y Valiente Award, the Meridiana Award in the modality of Recognition of his Personal and Professional Career at the national level and the Gold Badge of the UGT-Asturias Primero de Mayo awards for his “tireless activism” for equality and as president of the Women for Africa Foundation.

  • The Spanish Office of the European Parliament receives the award from WLW “Equality”.
#Where are they, an initiative promoted by the Office of the European Parliament in Spain to which more than 120 organizations, aims to increase the presence of expert women as speakers at conferences and debates. The members of this initiative commit to keep an annual count of participation of men, women and women with disabilities, as well as male-only panels at their events.

According to the director of the Office of the European Parliament in Spain, Mary Andrew, “The results obtained show that this type of initiative works to change the way we work within the institutions, companies or universities and make sure that women are included in the public space. We have not only improved the figures of the previous year; we have almost reached parity, which means that there is a great capacity for internal awareness thanks to # DondeEstánEllas ". And adds: “Quotas or this other type of positive discrimination actions will never be an objective in itself, but they are a powerful accelerator of social change ".

María Andrés has been the director of the Office of the European Parliament in Spain since 2016. Degree in Journalism from the University of Navarra / Columbia University, Missouri (USA). He holds a Master's degree in European Union and International Politics from the University of Bath (UK) / Sciences Po University (FR). European civil servant since 2003, has held different positions related to communication within the institution. Aware that the lack of female references in positions of responsibility is a glass ceiling for millions of women in the EU, from the European Parliament has promoted the initiative # DondeEstánEllas: a commitment to increase the participation of women experts as speakers in conferences and debates avoid “all-male panels”. Thanks to this initiative, more of 120 entities in Spain, between universities, NGOs, public organisms, think-tanks or media, work to make women visible in public events. Con el premio Women in a Legal World 2020, There are now five recognitions that the # DondeEstánEllas initiative has received.

  • The Constitutional Court receives the award from WLW “Sustainable Justice” for being a fundamental piece of the social and democratic State of Law
The President of the constitutional Court, Juan José González Rivas, has received at the headquarters of the institution the President of WLW, Marlen Estévez and the Director of Institutional Relations, Ana Martínez Enguídanos in recognition of the work that this association has been developing to promote equality for women in the legal world.
Gonzalez Rivas, in dialogue with the main managers of WLW, thanked the WLW award in the "Sustainable Justice" category and recalled that the "Constitutional Court is a body that aspires to integration and therefore is called upon to update, sentence after sentence, the meaning of our basic rule, interpreting and applying the guidelines set by the constituent power ". The president of the Constitutional Court recalled the words of King Felipe VI, pronounced on 6 last December in the Congress of Deputies. "He reminded us that under the validity of our Constitution, Spain has lived, definitely, political change, territorial, international, deepest and most radical economic and social in its history ", said. "Making his words my own, I take this opportunity to tell you that 'we have a duty to think about the future; to continue building, from our respective responsibilities, a Spain at the forefront, modern and renovated; a Spain open to the changes that our society deserves ".
To end, González Rivas recalled the word concord, a word that he has repeated in his last speeches, as if it were a talisman: “Concord guarantees the unity of the democratic rule of law, of the rights and freedoms of citizens and of the democratic principle itself, from the respect and institutional and constitutional loyalty ".
Meanwhile, Ana Martinez Enguídanos, General Secretary to Director of Institutional Relations at WLW, stated that one of the objectives of WLW is to comply with the Agenda 2030 and this category, specifically, to advance the SDG 16 “Paz, Justice and Solid Institutions ". The WLW Secretary General stressed that the Constitutional Court is worthy of this distinction, at 40 Anniversary since its constitution, for the role it has played in shaping our social and democratic State of Law.
  • Unión Profesional receives from WLW the “A los Valores” award for its work in defense of professional values

Women in a Legal World has awarded the Award “To the Values” a Professional Union in recognition of his advocacy of a modern collegiate model, subject to universal deontological control and based on professional excellence. Likewise, for the granting of this award, the jury has assessed the capacity of Unión Profesional (UP) to promote the professionalization of the direction and management of collegiate organizations and promote the culture and values ​​of professionalism in society.

Victoria Ortega president of Unión Profesional in dialogue with the president of WLW, Marlén Estévez and with the Director of Institutional Relations, Ana Martínez Enguídanos was happy with the award and emphasized that without a doubt this recognition granted by Women in a Legal World, It helps and a lot to the purpose of making visible the close relationship of professionals with citizens, as well as the relevance that collegiate professions have for society. "The 34 organizations that make up Unión Profesional are involved in the 17 sustainable development objectives and we wanted to have a special influence on the fight against inequalities and on the role of the professions so that they decrease, in the search for peace and justice as an ideal and for this we need strong institutions and establish the necessary alliances, with governments and with society. It is what justifies that the professions should not only walk together, but we have, from a global approach, renew social commitment, basis for the existence of professional associations ".

Meanwhile, Marlen Estévez, president of Women in a Legal World, wanted to highlight the fundamental role of the professions in line with the Agenda 2030: "The attention and care that the professions provide to citizens are key to the present stability and future transformation of our country; to, at the same time, the agenda 2030 It is an international commitment of all parties that aims to guarantee a dignified scenario for future generations. «You work for the general interest, fundamental axis of a fairer society that prevails the common, which makes you key actors for the generation of good practices that result in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals ».


Unión Profesional is the association that brings together Spanish collegiate professions with the mission of defending culture and professional values. Social vertebrate, economic and intellectual, Its main lines of work focus on the development and dissemination of the professional act, the deontological function, continuous training and professional development.

It is currently made up of 34 General and Superior Councils of Professional Associations that, together, bring together more than 1.000 professional schools and close to 1.500.000 of professionals throughout the state territory. The action of Professional Union covers sectors such as legal, sanitary, economic and social, scientific and technical, www.unionprofesional.com. In the international arena, Professional Union carries out intense activity. He holds the vice-presidency of the World Union of Liberal Professions (UMPL) –Institution that has the status of consultative body of the UN- and the European Council of Liberal Professions (CEPLIS).

I Edition of the Women in a Legal World Awards


The 1st Women in a Legal World Awards were delivered on 30 October 2019 in an exceptional location: the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in Madrid, which, was perfectly set for the occasion, It was a spectacular setting where more than 200 attendees enjoyed the awards ceremony, as well as the following cocktail party.

  • The 27 constituent MPs and senators received a long standing ovation from the audience.
  • Carlos Lesmes, President of the Spanish Supreme Court and the General Council of the Judiciary, closed the event.
  • Four categories were awarded: “Honorary”, "Woman of the Year", "Values" and "Equality".
  • More than 200 guests attended this first edition of the awards.

The first edition of the Women in a Legal World Awards was sponsored by Santander Bank, and supported by Mutualidad de la Abogacía, Deloitte and Allen & Overy.

Winners of the 1st WLW Awards

  • Values ​​Award: 27 constituent MPs and senators

    The WLW Values Award was awarded to the 27 constituent MPs and senators in recognition of their excelling work defending human rights and ethics. Out of the four awards, this was the most celebrated, as the entire audience stood up and applauded for several minutes.

    Soledad Becerril picked up the statuette representing all the constituents. Juana Arce, Elena Moreno, María Izquierdo, Dolores Pelayo, María Teresa Revilla and Nona Vilariño also attended the ceremony. Becerril alluded to the immense change that has taken place in Spanish society regarding professional life: "which has been brought by women themselves", and spoke of the struggle that many women still have to go through today in order to "have the right to go to school".


  • Honorary Award: María Emilia Casas,

    The Honorary Award, which highlights the career of renowned women who have contributed to promoting female visibility, was awarded to María Emilia Casas, who was delighted to receive the recognition and had special words for the 27 constituents. Casas spoke of her experience during her 12 years working at the Constitutional Court, -six of them, as president-, of the positive constitutional improvements that have taken place, and of the sensitive moments in Spanish history that she experienced first-hand. She also warned the audience about the dangers of letting the guard down and encouraged them to "be ready to fight , for women's rights from democracy and schools:. "There's still much to do".

  • Women of the Year Award: Rosario Silva

    The WLW Women of the Year Award went to Rosario Silva, who became the first Spanish female public prosecutor in 1978 . Silva is currently vice president of the Court of Justice of the European Union. At the beggining of her speech, she referred to her 16-year career as a public prosecutor and judge, She assured: that she had "never felt discriminated" and defended the European and EU laws, whose motto is "United in diversity", reminding the audience that together we are stronger.


  • Equality Award: Barcelona Bar Association (ICAB)

    Lastly, Eugenia Gay, Dean , of the Barcelona Bar Association (ICAB), was awarded with the Equality Award, which recognizes the best equality and diversity policies and programs created by a business organization. During an emotional speech, she thanked the jury for the award and spoke of the struggle for equality that has been going on since the French Revolution.

  • Carlos Lesmes, President of the Spanish Supreme Court and General Council of the Judiciary, closed the event. Grateful for being part of the WLW Awards' jury, Lesmes, assured that "it was not easy" to choose a winner from the nominations pool and the partners' own selection of candidates. He praised "the professionalism of the winners" and referred to the materialization, of WLW's, motto: "Learning by leading, inspiring by teaching". The President of the Spanish Supreme Court and General Council of the Judiciary also referred to the latest class of judges, made up of 134 women and 54 men, taking them as an example of a trend that will continue . He quoted Ana Ferrer -who attended the event- and was the first female member of the Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court on Criminal Law-,. praising her management decisions regarding equality. As he noted, thanks to her there is a female judge in each courtroom for the first time and the Social Chamber is exclusively composed of women.

    Finally, Lesmes acknowledged that "there is a lot to be done", and that we still have to "walk a long journey" for these occurrences to "be accepted as normal and not exceptional".

The Jury of the First WLW Awards

  • His Excellency. Sr. .. Carlos Lesmes Serrano, President of the Spanish Supreme Court and General Council of the Judiciary.
  • Her Excellency. Mrs. . Carmen Calvo Poyatos, First Vice President of the Government and Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory.
  • Her Excellency. Mrs. . María Teresa Fernández de la Vega Sanz, President of the Spanish Council of State.
  • Her Excellency. Mrs. . Victoria Ortega Benito, President of the Spanish Bar Association.
  • Her Excellency. Mrs. . María Emilia Adán García, president of the Registrar's Association of Spain.
  • His Excellency. Sr. .. José Ángel Martínez Sanchís, President of the General Council of Notary Publics.
  • His Excellency. Sr. .. Juan Carlos Estévez Fernández-Novoa, President of the General Council of Spanish Solicitors.
  • Mrs. . Victoria Prego Oliver Toliver, journalist.
  • Mrs. . Marlen Estévez Sanz, WLW's President.
  • Mrs. . Alicia Muñoz Lombardy, Director of Governing Bodies, Regulation and Privacy. Deputy Secretary of Santander's Spain. Board.