More Resources To Help Clients And Practitioners Find Women Arbitrators

17 December, 2023

The Equal Representation in Arbitration (ERA) Pledge (“ERA Pledge”) has launched on 22 November 2023 a new resource to assist clients and practitioners in their search for women arbitrators: the Female Arbitrator Resources Tool.

This new resource is a supplemental resource to the list of online directories of arbitrators available on the ERA Pledge Search for Female Arbitrators webpage. A Global database of women arbitrators involved with the ERA Pledge is also now provided, and includes women either sitting on the Global Steering Committee or one of the Pledge Sub-Committees, or having been featured at one of the many Pledge events that took place around the world.

The various resources (see list at the bottom) were made available a few years after the launch of the pro bono service offered to users to assist them in their search for women arbitrators.

The idea of offering pro bono assistance to people searching for women arbitrators was born the next day the Pledge was launched on 18 May 2016 in London, when the Steering Committee brainstormed about ways to promote the Pledge and avoid that it remains a paper without actions and results. Having too often heard that women are not added on arbitrators’ lists because they cannot be found — although online directories exist — one of the ideas to promote women arbitrators was to offer a pro bono assistance.

A Search For Female Arbitrators was thus added to the ERA Pledge website and launched in September 2016 with the objectives of assisting users in international dispute resolution, to find women arbitrators in any area of expertise and any region of the world, to expand the pool of women arbitrators by proposing as many practitioners from around the world as possible, and to propose profiles of women arbitrators with relevant experience but that those seeking assistance may not know yet or may not have thought of.

Requests are submitted on a confidential basis by completing a few criteria in an online form. A Search Committee, independent from the Steering Committee, is in charge of handling the requests. It is comprised of members from over twenty arbitral institutions from around the world, who work on a volunteer and independent basis, and who know the pool of women arbitrators from their regions. The Search Committee provides within 48 hours a list of women arbitrators with hyperlinks to their profiles, who match the criteria provided in the online form by the persons seeking assistance.

The online form was moved to the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) on 9 March 2022. It is available on the ICCA Search for Female Arbitrators webpage. Both the ERA Pledge and the ICCA websites list resources that dispute resolution practitioners and clients can use to find women arbitrators.

The assistance provided to any person searching for female arbitrators is made without any commitment or liability whatsoever for ERA, its Steering Committee Members, its Search Committee Members or ICCA. It is made to facilitate the search for women arbitrators. The proposals are made only to provide ideas of potential profiles and by no means constitute official recommendations. The ERA Search Committee will not contact the suggested arbitrators and they will not be aware that their names were proposed.

The pro bono service was used over fifty times since 2016. The industrial sectors for which proposals were requested included energy, construction, banking and finance, taxation, labour, investment disputes, and several types of industries. The value of the disputes ranged from a million to 400 million US Dollars. The service has been used mostly by large arbitration law firms but also by sole practitioners and by arbitrators.

It is hoped that with all the available tools and assistance available to users, practitioners from the business and dispute resolution communities will think more regularly of adding names of women arbitrators who have similar skills, expertise and experience as male counterparts.

Various Sources of Female Arbitrator Profiles

Sources of Female Arbitrator Profiles

Sources of African and Black Arbitrator Profiles

General Sources of Arbitrator Profiles which Comprise Women

Sources Accessible Via Subscriptions

Submitted by Mirèze Philippe, ArbitralWomen Co-Founder and Board Director