Vilma S. Martinez Recipient of the First Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award

In March, MTO partner Vilma Martinez was selected as one of thirteen recipient of the inaugural Sandra Day O’Connor Board of Excellence Award. The award, sponsored by DirectWomen, an initiative of the American Bar Association Section of Business Law and Catalyst, Inc., honors women attorneys currently serving as corporate directors.

According to the 2005 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners, women make up 50% of management, professional and related occupations but only 16% of Fortune 500 board-appointed corporate officers and only 2% of CEOs are women. DirectWomen is designed to identify, develop, and support a select group of accomplished women attorneys to provide qualified directors needed by the boards of U.S. companies, while promoting the independence and diversity required for good corporate governance.

Ms. Martinez joined Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP as a partner in 1982. Ms. Martinez’ practice focuses on federal and state court litigation and employment counseling. She has spent the last 25 years advising and defending corporate employers in labor and employment matters. Ms. Martinez currently serves on board of directors of Fluor Corporation, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, and Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. as well as the board of the National Association of Corporate Directors. In the past, Ms. Martinez has served on the boards of Bank of the West and Shell Oil Company. Ms. Martinez served as Chairman of the University of California Board of Regents from 1984-1986, and was a member of that board from 1976-1990. In 1994, Ms. Martinez was a recipient of the ABA’s Margaret Brent Award.