Allowing complexity

Allowing complexity

Q&A lunch with Anahita Thoms

Text & Photos: Katja Bartz

According to Manager Magazin, she is one of the 100 most influential women in German business - alongside Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock, Anahita Thoms was the only German to be included in the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders program last year.

The lawyer - Anahita Thoms is a partner at BakerMcKenzie and heads the international trade practice in Germany - answered questions from around 25 participants in the China Club at the Q&A lunch, a networking format for female managers at the VBKI. The event, moderated by VBKI Vice President Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, was held under the somewhat unwieldy heading "The Supply Chain Duty of Care Act: Challenges and Solutions for Industry and Trade". Background: The law obliges companies based in Germany - usually with 1000 or more domestic employees - to observe human rights standards within their supply chains.

"I am committed to ensuring that combating forms of modern slavery is at the top of the agenda for governments and companies."

Anahita Thoms | Partner at Baker McKenzie

For Anahita Thoms, this is an issue close to her heart: "For me, sustainability means that Western companies must ensure compliance with these standards along their value chain. I am committed to ensuring that combating forms of modern slavery is at the top of the agenda for governments and companies." Behind every product are complex, often global supply chains. This makes it all the more important to keep an eye on the working conditions along these chains.

The rule of law and human rights have preoccupied the high-flyer from an early age: "I was lucky that my parents always encouraged me and we discussed topics such as the rule of law and human rights a lot." Perhaps this influence contributed to Anahita Thomas taking on responsibility outside the law firm early on: she became a board member of Atlantik-Brücke, an association that promotes closer cooperation between Germany and North America. Thoms is also involved in the American Bar Association and is a member of the National Committee of Unicef Germany.

Anahita Thoms wants to build bridges - between business, politics, science and society. All in the interests of a more sustainable society. After all, dealing with the Supply Chain Act does not just mean coercion, but also strengthens a company's reputation and image and enables more sustainable and ethically safe business practices.

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