Gender Fairness

HBA Gender Fairness Committee logoThis committee examines issues related to gender fairness in the legal profession and develops programs that provide a forum for the discussion of issues related to gender fairness, including seminars and networking opportunities. The committee promotes awareness of these issues within the profession and encourages law firms and corporate legal departments to sign the “Gender Initiative Commitment Statement.”


HBA Approves Revised 2021 Gender Fairness Commitment Statement

The HBA Board of Directors approved a revised Gender Fairness Commitment Statement proposed by the HBA Gender Fairness Committee. The 2018 version of the Commitment Statement included a commitment that, by 2020, law firms and legal departments make measurable increases in the number of women attorneys in management and leadership roles, as well as implementation of recruiting, retention, mentoring and business development programs.

The revised Commitment Statement 1) broadens the approach for working toward equity, so as to enable legal departments and small and mid-size firms to commit to achievable goals, 2) embraces a more inclusive understanding of gender diversity, and 3) gives signatories the flexibility to develop their own stated target dates for achieving measurable gender parity.

In revising the Commitment Statement, the Gender Fairness Committee sought input from the HBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the LGBTQ+ Committee.

​“We are so pleased and grateful that the board has taken this important step. As a committee, we are excited to begin the work of engaging with our colleagues so that law firms and legal departments throughout the Houston community can take this important next step toward meaningful and measurable gender equality,” according to a statement from Gender Fairness Committee Co-chairs Catherine North Hounfodji, Tiffany Larsen and Jason Beesinger. 

Please click here to read the 2021 Gender Fairness Commitment Statement and learn more about how you or your organization can sign on.



These recorded programs are available for CLE credit for HBA members at

"The Past, Present and Future of Women in the Law" from April 13, 2021.

"Work. Life. Unbalanced. Juggling Your Legal Career and Caregiving During COVID-19" from November 12, 2020.

"Business Development for Women: How to Overcome Obstacles and Thrive" from September 29, 2020. Co-sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Blank Rome LLP, and KoonsFuller PC (made possible by Shareholder Taylor Toombs Imel).

"Practical Tools and Information for Gender Equality in the Legal Profession" from June 30, 2020. Co-sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Blank Rome LLP, and KoonsFuller PC (made possible by Shareholder Taylor Toombs Imel). Program Agenda & Speaker Bios | Gender Fairness Toolkit


Thank you to all the firms who signed the 2018 Gender Fairness Commitment Statement.

Firms listed with an asterisk (*) signed the statement before March 1, 2019.


2021-2022 Co-Chairs:

Yvonne Ho, Bracewell LLP
Sara Keith, Shell Oil Company
Katherine Kunz, Gibbs & Bruns LLP

For more information on this committee, contact Tara Shockley at or (713) 759-1133.