ArbitralWomen held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) virtually on Tuesday, 1 February 2022, attended by women from all over the world.
Board Secretary Gaëlle Filhol called the meeting to order at 16:00 GMT, 17:00 CET.
President Dana MacGrath gave introductory remarks, noting that her term as President will conclude on 30 June 2022, and took a moment to reflect on her time as President. She shared that it has been an honour to lead ArbitralWomen through some very difficult times, not the least of which has been the global pandemic, and that the Board maximised the ArbitralWomen platform to support women during this challenging period while continuing ArbitralWomen’s usual programming in different, innovative ways. ArbitralWomen could not have achieved all that it has without a fabulous team of ArbitralWomen Directors, Members, and allies.
In the past four years, the ArbitralWomen Executive Committee took significant steps to modernise the governance of ArbitralWomen, including most recently the preparation of the 2022 ArbitralWomen By-Laws. At the same time, the Board expanded ArbitralWomen’s presence globally, augmented ArbitralWomen’s programmes, and launched new programmes even during the pandemic. ArbitralWomen has tried to embrace more deliberately the new generation of women in arbitration.
Additionally, ArbitralWomen partnered with many other organisations to promote diversity in ADR and has supported other, relatively new, diversity organisations and initiatives in their efforts to launch successfully.
Dana concluded her remarks by noting that ArbitralWomen will celebrate its 30th anniversary in November 2023 and her hope is that we will all join in celebrating ArbitralWomen’s rich history of promoting women and diversity at our 30th anniversary celebrations. Finally, she shared that she was extremely proud of how ArbitralWomen continues to thrive and wished the future leadership team of ArbitralWomen much success.
Next, Vice President Louise Woods presented on the ArbitralWomen 2022 By-Laws.
Louise explained that the 2022 By-Laws are the culmination of several months of work by the By-Laws Amendment Taskforce, which she led herself as Vice President, and thanked the Taskforce (which included volunteer members of the ArbitralWomen Executive Committee, Board and Advisory Council) for their comments and suggestions. She noted that the amended By-Laws have been accessible to ArbitralWomen Members on the website portal since 12 January 2022.
She explained that the amendments were aimed at three main goals: (1) to build on recent improvements to ArbitralWomen’s governance, (2) to improve, clarify and streamline certain processes, and (3) to record in the By-Laws policies and procedures that already existed in practice. She then walked members through the specific amendments and summarised the key revisions.
Thereafter, she took questions and comments, and the issue of approval and adoption of the 2022 By-Laws was put to a vote, with an overwhelming majority – in fact unanimous – vote in favour of approval and adoption of the new By-Laws.
Next, several members of the Board of Directors reported on the work of their committees in 2021. Juliette Fortin reported on her work as Treasurer and on the finances of the organisation. Rekha Rangachari reported on the work of the Cooperation Committee and Global Events. Maria Beatriz Burghetto reported on the work of the Newsletter team. Gisèle Stephens-Chu reported on the revamped Parental Mentorship Programme. Dana MacGrath reported on the News Committee’s work. Amanda Lee reported on social media. Elizabeth Chan reported on the work of YAWP and the selection of the new 2022 YAWP Steering Committee. All 2021 Committee Reports will be made available to members in due course together with minutes of the 2022 AGM.
After the reports by Directors on their committees’ work, President Dana MacGrath provided a high-level overview of the 2022 Board election process and shared a slide that illustrated the key dates of the process, which appears below. More information regarding the 2022 Board election process will be shared with the ArbitralWomen Membership in due course.
At the close of the meeting, members participated in a networking session, at which new ArbitralWomen members were invited to introduce themselves.
Several other members shared news and their areas of expertise at the networking session. The event concluded at 19:30 CET.