Our Women AIQ Campaign at the 26th Croatian Arbitration Days
On December 7th, 2018, Arbitrator Intelligence was skillfully represented at the 26th Croatian Arbitration Days in Zagreb by Zrinka Mustafa Prelic. Her speech gravitated not only around the old and new challenges about arbitration, but also on announcing our most recent campaign which runs through December 14th aimed at women arbitrators for which AI has partnered with ArbitralWomen.
This year ArbitralWomen (AW) celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Founded in 1993, AW is a network of women from diverse backgrounds and legal cultures active in international dispute resolution in any role, including, arbitrator, mediator, expert, adjudicator, surveyor, facilitator, lawyer, neutral, ombudswoman or forensic consultant. With close to a thousand members from over 40 countries, AW has been instrumental in fostering a dynamic global discussion about the gender imbalance in arbitrator appointments and arbitration practice. Through these efforts, AW and its members have helped identify the myriad causes for the gender imbalance, from pipeline leakage, to unconscious bias, to the need to better support work-life balance issues.
AW has also introduced important innovations to remedy the gender imbalance, including a mentorship program, formal and informal events at which causes and solutions are discussed. AW is a strong supporter of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge (ERA Pledge or the Pledge). The Pledge, is “a call for the international arbitration community to commit to increase, on an equal opportunity basis, the number of women appointed as arbitrators.” In addition, The Pledge promotes “pledges and charters launched by other organisations and groups, aiming to promote women practitioners namely in dispute resolution but also more broadly in the legal and business fields.”
By now, we know that all these efforts have been having important effects. Today, arbitral institutions are publishing both general statistics about gender and other diversity criteria and, in some instances, the names of arbitrators appointed to the cases they administer. Meanwhile, the percentage of women appointed as arbitrators by institutions in 2016 was, on average, around 17%, up considerably in just a year from the 2015, when the average was 12% and up dramatically from 2012, when the percentages was a mere 6%. Statistical correlation does not always equal causation, but Lucy Greenwood’s scholarship provides anecdotal input that seems to suggest that much of this progress is in fact tied to implementation of The Pledge.
However, institutional appointments account for only a fraction of all arbitrator appointments. Concerns about lack of diversity are less evident in the estimated 75% of cases in which parties appoint arbitrators. As Lucy Greenwood cautions, there is a “stark disconnect between the rate at which institutions appoint women and the willingness of the parties to do so.”
Do your part! Take a few minutes any day from now until December 14 to help generate information about women arbitrators. And stay tuned for when, in early January when Arbitrator Intelligence will be hosting a series of webinars and focus group sessions to obtain input on sample AI Reports.