50 Women to Watch

50 Women to Watch: Bethania Diaz

Bethania Diaz, Legal Manager, Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Corporate and transactional lawyer with international experience in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. Practices in statutory audit processes, negotiation, contract management, risk management, legal operations, corporate governance.

Member of CCBJ's inaugural 50 Women to Watch for 2023, Legal 500 GC Powerlist: DR 2022 and the Legal Committee of the National Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES).

LL.M. International Law U.S. & Transnational Law, University of Miami, United States. BA in Law (Summa Cum Laude) and MBA from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra and BA in Tourism from Universidad APEC (Magna Cum Laude), Dominican Republic.

What is your proudest achievement?
I would say that my proudest achievement is the sum of all the things that happen in my life every day, either little or big things, and that I have accomplished either personal, professional, or spiritual that have made me become who and what I am today. My proudest achievement is every present, is my personal balance at the end of day, as it is the current path to build my future.

What is the most influential piece of advice (professional or personal) you have received?

I can hardly limit just to one advice. I had a high school teacher named Angel Ramirez. At the time the class was in the process of identifying which career to choose at the university I was confused. One day, he approached me and told me that I can be in life whatever I want and decide to be. That I am the only one allowed to set my own boundaries, no one else.

I also had the privilege to have a boss who became one of my mentors in the legal profession. His constant advice was to never miss opportunities, never assume, never take things for granted, in the long term they show their benefits. Sometimes we anticipate the outcome of things without even letting them happen or giving them a try.

One of the many phrases I remind myself of is credited to Niccolo Machiavelli: "Ghosts are more frightening from afar than close up.". And I translate this as fear, uncertainty, sometimes the false expectation of the unknown paralyzes us. The only way to beat them is by facing them. Surprisingly, what we may magnify in the distance or far in time turns out to be irrelevant when facing it or present approaches. I'm sure many of us have been through this. The interesting thing is that then you look back and laugh at what before could appear to be an obstacle when it was not. Most of the time we are our own enemy. I think from there we can get the best lessons, to face the challenges, embrace the circumstances, take advantage of the opportunities, either to grow or decline.

Where do you see the legal profession in 10+ years?

I see the legal profession more assisted by artificial intelligence, but hardly replacing human skills and knowledge. It will improve performance and efficiency but depending on the quality data provided and minimization of the ethical challenges such as neutrality required to avoid inaccuracies and lack of transparency, to share a few.

I also see the legal profession practiced together with focus and studies in other areas outside of the profession. Nowadays, we can see internal and external clients assuming that lawyers / attorneys have certain knowledge in other areas, such as business, finance, marketing, among others. And that will make it important for the lawyer to be prepared or understand certain areas.

What is/are your favorite extracurricular activity/activities?

I love sightseeing and solo traveling. Solo traveling has helped me make interesting connections with locals, their traditions and food, not just the touristic side, become acquainted with fellow travelers and discover new places. For every lawyer reading is a must, and when you have the reading habit in your blood, you really enjoy it, as I do. Also, I am keen on various activities that help me reset and reconnect with myself such as swimming, micro-gardening, listening to music, singing, and watching movies.

What is one thing people should know about you but don't?

I can manage myself, but I’m not a fan of crowded places.

Name your hometown/where you were born/where you grew up and where you live now.

I was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

If you were not a legal professional, what other line of work would you pursue?

My legal profession has always been linked to hospitality and tourism, my first career. I am very curious about social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior, also the mind and behavior in humans. So, if I were not a legal professional, I would probably pursue sociology or psychology.

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