As a part of NautaDutilh’s cooperation with Pro Bono Connect, David den Blaauwen, Naud van Doorn, and Boudewijn Smit have advised She Matters on its gender-specific recruitment policy and in particular its policy towards trans women, intersex, and non-binary people.
With NautaDutilh’s advice, She Matters was provided with the legal framework to support its gender-specific recruitment policy, where all women are welcome regardless of their biological sex. This identifies focused rather than sex-focused policy and complies with applicable equal treatment laws. NautaDutilh advised She Matters that, from a legal perspective, the term ‘women’ should not only include persons born with the biological female characteristics, but also any person self-identifying as a woman. For a person’s identity, it is absolutely irrelevant whether this person has undergone a sex reassignment surgery. The person’s own gender identity is decisive. With NautaDutilh’s advice, She Matters now has a legal foundation for its inclusive policy, helping it to continue being an advocate for inclusion and female empowerment.
Boudewijn Smit: ‘For this Pro Bono matter, David and Naud went out of their legal comfort zone and dived into the legal framework of gender diversity and equal treatment. Their efforts resulted in a very comprehensive and hands-on advice, which helped She Matters to pursue their mission to empower only female newcomers, without violating equal treatment laws.’
Christina Moreno: ‘With NautaDutilh’s advice, we now know that we have the law on our side, so we immediately decided to specifically refer to all women, regardless of their sex assigned at birth, in our recruitment outing. This has already resulted in the first trans woman joining our programme. It’s powerful to see how a trans woman of colour is empowered by the legal efforts of three cisgender white men, demonstrating that everyone can engage in meaningful gender DEI work.’
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NautaDutilh is an international law firm practicing Dutch, Belgian, and Luxembourg law. NautaDutilh has offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, and Luxembourg as well as in London and New York. With more than 400 lawyers, notaries, and tax advisers, NautaDutilh is one of the largest law firms in the Benelux region.
About Pro Bono Connect
Pro Bono Connect is the first public interest clearinghouse in the Netherlands and acts as an intermediary between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and law firms. Pro Bono Connect links civil society to lawyers from top law firms to give them free legal advice or assistance in legal proceedings.