Rachel A. Gonzalez was honored by the Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) as a recipient of the Salute to the Policy Makers Award. Gonzalez, a partner in the Employment and Labor practice group at Day Pitney LLP, accepted her award at the EWNJ's gala dinner last night at the Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, New Jersey. Gonzalez was recognized for her trailblazing professional achievements and her efforts towards advancing women's leadership.
"Rachel has made a profound impact on our firm and the legal profession," said David P. Doyle, a partner in the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice group and member of the Executive Committee at Day Pitney, when presenting the award to Gonzalez. "In addition to maintaining a robust labor and employment practice, she is very active in the firm, including diversity and inclusion efforts, the bar, and her community. Rachel is known for her legal skills, integrity and compassion, and she serves as a role model for us all."
Salute to the Policy Makers funds EWNJ's various programs and initiatives aimed at advancing women's leadership and supporting equity in the workplace. Most notably, it benefits the organization's Graduate Merit Award Program, which provides scholarships to women who are non-traditional graduate students with the goal of establishing a pipeline of future women leaders. As the largest provider of scholarships to women who are non-traditional graduate students in New Jersey, EWNJ has provided tuition assistance to nearly 350 women graduate students at New Jersey colleges and universities over the last 30+ years.
"We're proud to spotlight Rachel, alongside the other groundbreaking leaders on this list at this year's gala because of what their presence represents for women in the workplace," explained Anna María Tejada, President of EWNJ and Partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP. "It is undeniable that there is an abundance of talented and highly capable women leaders, yet women continue to be severely underrepresented on boards and in the senior leadership of public, private, and civic organizations, especially in the wake of the pandemic, which had an outsized impact on women. That's why we felt this list was particularly timely in the current economic climate. It is crucial to showcase the impact of women's leadership, and to recognize the talent, expertise, and experience that we bring to the workplace."
Gonzalez represents management in traditional labor law, employment counseling and litigation. She regularly partners with clients and serves as a strategic advisor on labor and employee relations issues. Gonzalez represents employers during union election campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, and arbitrations, and before the National Labor Relations Board. She leads employer bargaining committees during collective bargaining negotiations and provides advice on strike preparations and injunction proceedings. Gonzalez also advises corporations on workforce planning during business changes, including business sales, acquisitions, stock and asset purchases, and plant closings and relocations. Gonzalez also regularly counsels employers on issues affecting the workplace.
Gonzalez serves in a leadership role with the Day Pitney Attorneys of Color Network. She is the Chair of the firm's Hiring Committee and is also a member of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Gonzalez formerly served as a Trustee and Press Secretary of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey. She also served as a mentor with the American Dream Pipeline Mentoring Program, a mentorship program focused on exposing students to the legal profession and providing guidance from attorney mentors sharing similar backgrounds and life experiences, at Union City High School. From 2007 to 2010, she also provided pro bono support to asylum seekers through Human Rights First, an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals.
Gonzalez received her J.D. with honors from University of Connecticut School of Law, where she participated in the Asylum and Human Rights Legal Clinic, and her B.A. from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
To view the full Trailblazing Policy Makers List, visit ewnj.org/salute.