HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ARBITRALWOMEN!
Friday 22 November 2013 was a special day for ArbitralWomen. Twenty years ago
, a group of 60 women sat down at a Paris restaurant and got to know each other.
Some months prior, at the ICCA conference in Bahrain, one lone woman managed to get one of over 20 speaking spots, while a handful of others braved a room full of men. Over coffee we gathered together and wondered aloud if there were other women out there, fascinated by the world of international arbitration, but frustrated in their isolation. Before leaving Bahrain we traded addresses, and each of us referred a few others, who in turn sent in other names, so that our "grapevine" produced the first List of Women in Arbitration. We called them arbitral women.
On the eve of an ICC Institute conference, attended by women from all over the world, we held our first dinner, on an upper floor of a charming traditional Paris restaurant. The seating plan was arranged with flowers, with each woman receiving a small corsage at the entrance, and instructions to find the table matching her flower.
Between courses, the ladies at each table stood to introduced themselves, their expertise and their interest in arbitration or mediation. As the evening progressed, the atmosphere in the room became electric; the energy of that group of 60 women is still memorable, even today after two decades.
Out of that original dinner came the idea to study Women in Arbitration. That was the study, when presented two years later at a Chartered Institute of Arbitrators conference in Boston, which spotlighted for the first time the paucity of women in international dispute resolution, and made it evident that something had to be done. This was the birth of ArbitralWomen
Today we are a thousand strong, from all parts of the globe
. We can be proud of our work in promoting women in dispute resolution through events, social gatherings, mentoring, and awards to assist women law students to participate at the Vis Moots in Vienna and Hong Kong.
In twenty years, we have made a great deal of progress, with women leading many arbitration commissions, serving as arbitrators and mediators, and taking a more visible role in the leadership of the arbitration community. But women are still sadly under-represented as lead counsel in arbitrations, on arbitrator rosters, and as panel members in high-value, high-profile cases. There is still much work to be done if women are to achieve equal status with men in this field.
If you are a woman and are not yet a member, please do consider joining us. You can read about the benefits of membership in ArbitralWomen on the website, and it is now easier than ever to join online. Just click now on Become a Member to share with us the progress of the next 20 years!
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is an international non-governmental organization gathering women practitioners active in international dispute resolution. The group has its origins in 1993 and expanded mainly since 2000. Members of ARBITRALWOMEN come from all continents and from more than 40 countries. ARBITRALWOMEN continues to advance the interests of women in dispute resolution and enhance their involvement.
Our website is about and by ArbitralWomen but is open to everyone both to search for appropriate and qualified dispute resolution practitioners, and to benefit from the ideas and information offered. Browse and use our website to "Find a Practitioner
" and locate arbitrators, mediators, experts, lawyers and practitioners in your jurisdiction and/or field of business. Learn about our current Events
and other Events
, or about Publications
available on our website.
For more information download the ArbitralWomen Flyer
Women practitioners in dispute resolution who wish to become members of ARBITRALWOMEN may submit an application under "Become a member