The low presence of women in international arbitral tribunals is a fact. Recognizing it, and being the just and enriching diversity and, therefore, an objective to seek, in 2015 the members of the arbitration community launched a Pledge, to promote an “Equal representation in arbitration“.
After considering the possibility of establishing quotas or representation targets, a Steering Committee composed of corporations, states, arbitral institutions, lawyers, arbitrators and academics finally opted for a more flexible approach, based on the criterion of “equal opportunities” as an instrument for achieving «equitable representation».
Achieving equality of opportunity and in representation in arbitral appointments requires that such equality be applied at initial stages, taking measures to improve the profile of women, making them visible, giving them the floor at conferences and events, promoting new channels that help everyone identify the magnificent female arbitrators that our community has and can have, to get to know them, to keep them in mind, to learn how much they can contribute, how much their point of view can complement, nurture and enrich the selections, the courts, the debates and, finally, the resolution of disputes in which women are increasingly becoming main actors, female executives, and in-house counsels, women entrepreneurs with their own businesses and companies. We cannot afford to miss out on their perspective.
Decalogue of (small) actions for the Pledge.
“Be yourself the change you seek in the world“
- Sign the Pledge if you believe in it (many lawyers and firms share it… but haven’t signed it).
- Propose a woman the next time you look for an arbitrator, there must be a suitable candidate.
- Ask your firm or institution if it has a policy to track the number of female arbitrators.
- Check out the women arbitrator tool on the Pledge website next time you’re looking for arbitrators.
- Suggest a woman to speak at an arbitration conference.
- Find a co-author for your next arbitration article.
- Share that you have signed the Pledge the next time you speak at an arbitration event.
- Speak out to your team about the Pledge in your next email or internal meeting and encourage them to sign it.
- Participate as a mentor to a colleague within the arbitration community.
- Bring a male colleague to the next Pledge or Women in Arbitration event.
Coordinators of the Pledge: Carmen Núñez-Lagos y Mercedes Fernández