Ryan and Box were joined this year by New York associate Natsayi Mawere, who was named to the Heroes Future Role Models List 2022.
This is Box’s sixth appearance, Ryan’s third and Mawere’s first on the prestigious lists, which are sponsored by INvolve, a London-based consultancy and global network focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in business.
INvolve’s annual Heroes Executives Role Models List, supported by Yahoo! Finance, was launched in 2017. The list recognizes and celebrates established business leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and inspiring a new generation of diverse talent.
The organization’s Heroes Future Role Models List recognizes and celebrates up and coming diversity champions who are poised to have an impact on their companies and professions.
Ryan again earned recognition in 2022 for her consistent efforts on behalf of the firm's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program; its Women's Initiative Network (WINRS); and a wide range of innovative recruiting, retention and hiring programs for lawyers and staff. In 2021, she oversaw the launch of the firm’s Family Network, which included the introduction of benefits such as childcare, tutoring, and peer-to-peer networking, as well as resources to support work-life balance across all family stages.
Meanwhile the Family Support Initiative, which was launched in 2020 to address COVID-19 family challenges, was also enhanced and expanded. Other policies implemented under Ryan’s leadership include a global flexible working policy to provide for agile work; expanded maternity, paternity and adoption leave policies; and a declared pronoun policy focused on communicating preferred pronouns. Of the firm’s partner promotions in 2021, 42% were women and 22% were ethnic minorities.
Box was hailed again this year for her success in efforts to establish gender equality in leadership across all sectors of the global economy, from legal to business, from government to charities.
As the firm’s EME managing partner, a member of the senior management team and a member of the global board, Box is an important role model for women across the firm, but she goes further by actively mentoring and sponsoring them to receive the recognition they deserve. A recipient of many prestigious awards herself, Box serves as a sponsor/judge for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, WATC Rising Star Awards, Women of the Future Awards, WeQual Awards, and the DirectWomen Institute and regularly nominates and puts forward women for these awards and opportunities.
Box is a founding member of the steering committee of the 30% Club, an initiative that has more than doubled the number of women on corporate boards over the past ten years and has moved to tackling racial and gender representation in the executive pipeline. In addition, she is a sponsor or active member of the PowerWomen Network, International Women’s Forum, Women Corporate Directors, Paradigm for Parity, and Women of Influence, each of which she champions with the many women she mentors. She also holds two board positions in privately held financial companies as well as serving as a trustee for the women’s charity Eve Appeal and for the Chartered Management Institute.
Box embodies the importance of gender equity and ensuring women have a place at the highest table of any organization. This year, she was integral in the establishment of Reed Smith’s Independent Strategic Advisory Board, the first of its kind in the industry. After an exhaustive search of more than 400 highly qualified and experienced candidates, the firm’s Senior Management Team selected the three best. All were women.
Mawere is the market chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative in New York, where she helped to develop its Racial Equity Action Plan (REAP). As part of the New York office’s REAP, she helped to develop an Associate Buddy Program in 2021 and took the lead in expanding that program globally in 2022.
Mawere volunteers with, and is on the Advisory Board of, the NYC Coalition for the Homeless' "First Step Job Training Program." She is also an associate liaison of the firm’s Women’s Initiative at Reed Smith (WINRS) in New York. In 2020, Mawere established an annual virtual Career Day program connecting First Step students (low-income and homeless women) with Reed Smith lawyers and professional staff active in WINRS. The lawyers and professional staff assisted First Step students with resume development and job interviewing, and participated in panel discussions on issues women face in the workplace. Mawere is dedicated to investing in the well-being and advancement of others, particularly First Step's resilient and inspiring students who are often the victims of domestic violence, social and economic injustice, and face significant barriers to attaining meaningful, well-paid employment to support themselves and their families.
About Reed Smith
Reed Smith is a dynamic international law firm dedicated to helping clients move their businesses forward. With an inclusive culture and innovative mindset, we deliver smarter, more creative legal services that drive better outcomes for our clients. Our deep industry knowledge, long-standing relationships and collaborative structure make us the go-to partner for complex disputes, transactions and regulatory matters.
For more information, visit reedsmith.com.