05 Mar 2021
On Monday 8th March we mark International Women’s Day (IWD), a global celebration of the achievements and contributions of women across all spheres of life. As well as highlighting the centrality of women of all backgrounds to societal, economic and cultural health and success, IWD also plays a vital role in drawing attention to ongoing inequalities, and in influencing for faster progress towards full gender parity.
CIArb is immensely proud to support IWD. As highlighted by our ongoing ‘Women in ADR’ campaign, women play a crucial role at the forefront of our organisation, across all areas of practice. I urge everyone to read the interviews conducted as part of that campaign and learn more about the views, experiences and opinions of inspirational women at various stages of their careers.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of work still to be done before gender parity is achieved, and we should be under no illusions about the challenges we still face. For example, the ICCA Report of the Cross-Institutional Task Force on Gender Diversity in Arbitral Appointments and Proceedings released in 2020 showed that the proportion of female arbitrators in commercial arbitration stood at 21.3% in 2019. This, in fact, marked impressive progress from a base of 12.2% in 2015, but it is far from the equality we should be striving for.
For our own part, we are conscious of the gender imbalance within our membership and are committed to taking practical steps to address that. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Equal Representation in Arbitration (ERA) Young Practitioners Sub-Committee to provide discounted training for ERA members, and why we are launching a Mentoring scheme later this year, specifically intended for members who may otherwise not have development opportunities open to them.
As part of our commitment to the aims and principles of IWD, we are hosting an online event featuring a keynote speech from Amanda Lee FCIArb examining how we can reach the ‘final frontier’ of true gender equality. The speech will be accompanied by remarks from our President Ann Ryan Robertson C. Arb FCIArb, and a panel discussion with some of the leading women in the profession. This event is free of charge and you can register here.
Catherine Dixon (Director General, CIArb)
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