Katherine (Katia) Ramo studied Comparative and International Dispute Resolution at CCLS. She is a global Technology & Media lawyer with CMS and is also the founder and chair of the CMS ENABLE Network for disability and wellbeing. Katia is currently completing a PhD in international law and is listed in the top global 30 Financial Times Women in Business HERoes and Future Female Leader 2018, and TechWomen100 Awards 2020. She shares her profile on International Women’s Day.
I am a global Technology & Media lawyer with CMS – London Office. I advise on a wide range of transactional corporate M&A, commercial and regulatory matters. I am the Founder & Chair of CMS ENABLE (disabilities & wellbeing) Network since 2014, a member of the UN Stakeholders Group for Persons with Disabilities, and Co-chair InterLaw Diversity Forum disAbility ENABLE Network. Also, I serve as a Trustee of BlindAid and the Society of Computers & Law and am a core member of CMS equlP, helping technology start-ups scale as well as CMS LeadHERS core committee, supporting women tech entrepreneurs. I am a proud member of CMS Women in Business, BAME and a straight ally to LGBT+ Networks.
I lead on substantive global conversations, mentoring relationships, advocacy, media, writing and speaking engagements to champion equality for women and disabled talent. I am fortunate to be called upon internally and externally by clients, diversity organizations, the United Nations, and regulatory bodies, to provide advice regarding disability, often with a specific gender lens. I introduced monthly mindfulness sessions at CMS since 2015 to build resilience and mental wellbeing and participated in CMS’ film for the Lord Mayor’s appeal, ‘This is Me’, aimed at destigmatizing mental health. I had the honour to be filmed for the First 100 Years Project, celebrating 100 years of Women in Law https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnngZBJcIfk , and for a short film for the Solicitors Regulation Authority on ‘Why a disability inclusive workplace makes a difference https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmTdAfaNNZk
My studies at CCLS will always represent a pivotal chapter in my life on many levels. Professionally, CCLS is a powerhouse of global legal minds that are highly well equipped for ground-breaking innovative intellectual and practical solutions. This is instilled in the postgraduate programmes’ modules. It was never an abstract sterile teaching. It followed that this has become inherent in my global practice of law in analysing complex cross-border client’s matters with multiple jurisdictions. You look through a prism and not one angle. On a personal note, I am ever so grateful to the CCLS academic and support staff for their humanity and compassion during my studies. In particular, my gratitude goes to Prof Loukas Mistelis, Prof Stavros Brekoulakis, Dr Julia Hörnle and Prof Spyros Maniatis. It was a difficult time in my life adjusting to new terms of reference due to my acquired disabilities as an adult at the time. I was treated with respect and dignity and availed meaningful support to successfully complete my LLM with merit.
I have many fond memories that always put a smile on my face. This example is on the very light-hearted side. I loved Professor Julian DM Lew QC’s lectures. I did not wish to miss any. So, I went straight from the airport to his lecture after a transatlantic flight. I could not fight the jet lag and fell asleep sitting in the front row. He graciously and gently knocked at the table to see if I was okay and woke me up. It was embarrassing and we all laughed.
This recommendation is not only for women, it applies to anyone who is doing a postgraduate degree or any form of studies. Time will go by very quickly. Use it wisely. Soak up knowledge. Make meaningful connections as they will likely last a lifetime. Be kind and nice to your colleagues. Competition and striving for excellence are meaningless, if you trample on others. Your colleagues today may well be your bosses tomorrow and the future leaders anywhere in the world. Be kind and respectful.
You must keep going forward even if the rip current tries to pull you under and never forget to send the ladder to others.
In a year where we are celebrating UN Women’s theme for International Women's Day, 8 March 2021 (IWD 2021) as, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; we ought to balance this by assessing the progress achieved so far since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals of September 2015. Our dreams and hopes are abound to see more fair representation of women in leadership positions and with equal pay.
The legal profession by default heightens our sense of discernment to fight moral disengagement and the oppressive forces of discrimination and bigotry in any form. It is the legal profession’s inherent pursuit of fairness and equality that gives us a special courage that makes us heroes of our own life stories, irrespective of circumstances, to speak up against inequities and inequality and to foster change whether in legislation, business practices or against archaic societal norms.
And so I end by giving my coined motto in finding purpose within ourselves, looking beyond limitations, rising above bigotry and being of service.
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