Moderator: Carolyn Lamm (White & Case LLP, Washington, DC)
Carolyn Lamm, Chair of the ICCA’s Gender Diversity Task Force, gave a brief overview of the ICCA Report on Gender Diversity. The report details the importance of gender diversity, causes of disparate treatment, and current trends. The report also contains a path forward for achieving gender parity in arbitration. To increase visibility, female candidates are encouraged to continue writing articles, participating in speaking engagements, and being involved in the arbitration community. Institutions also have a responsibility to ensure that their rosters and panels reflect gender diversity. Finally, clients are responsible for demanding diversity both on counsel teams and in arbitrator appointments. For more information on achieving gender parity, the entire report can be found here: ICCA Cross Institutional Task Force Report on Gender Diversity in Arbitral Appointments and Proceedings.
Speaker: Alexis Mourre (President, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris – institutional perspective).
Alexis Mourre provided a progress report on the ICC’s initiative to achieve gender parity. Notably, the ICC Court achieved full gender parity for the 2018 to 2021 term. Moreover, between 2015 and 2020 the percentage of female appointments or confirmations has more than doubled from 10% to 21%. Mourre further explained that, although institutions have a critical role in promoting gender parity, parties are responsible for most appointments. Lastly, Mourre suggested that large law firms should provide resources to help young women balance both work and family commitments so that they are in a position to achieve partnership.
Speaker: Patrícia Kobayashi (General Secretary of CAM-CCBC, São Paulo – institutional perspective)
Patrícia Kobayashi highlighted CAM-CCBC’s initiatives to achieve gender parity. Such efforts include promoting female presenters at CAM-CCBC events and adding women to CAM-CCBC’s advisory board. So far, CAM-CCBC has seen positive results. Between 2018 and 2020, the percentage of female arbitrators increased from 27% to 32%. Similarly, in 2018, 55% of CAM-CCBC’s tribunals were mixed gender. By 2020, this increased to 62%. Kobayashi concluded that institutions play an important role in achieving gender parity, but they cannot do so alone. Counsel and the parties must also do their share.
Speaker: Mónica Jiménez (Ecopetrol, Bogotá – client perspective)
Mónica Jiménez described the client's role in achieving gender parity. Jiménez explained that in-house lawyers could start by educating their own companies about global initiatives, such as the ERA Pledge. Additionally, in-house counsel can encourage — or demand — that outside counsel include women in leadership positions on the team. Finally, clients can require a certain number of female candidates in lists of proposed arbitrators provided by outside counsel. Jiménez concluded by encouraging women in arbitration to seek out writing and speaking opportunities about topics that are relevant to clients.
Speaker: Wendy Miles QC (Twenty Essex, London – arbitrator perspective)
Wendy Miles QC addressed an important issue inhibiting gender parity in arbitrator appointments: lack of visibility among qualified female candidates. To increase visibility, Miles proposed a series of webinars interviewing the top women in dispute resolution from jurisdictions across the Americas. Miles envisions targeting a diverse group of top female candidates, including retired judges, senior women in mediation, and senior women working in domestic disputes. Miles explained that this would introduce arbitrators and counsel alike to a broad array of new female candidates to consider when appointing arbitrators.