On 15 December 2022, Mute Off Thursdays released the first edition of its Compendium of Unicorns – A Global Guide to Women Arbitrators, profiling more than 170 women arbitrators from around the globe, with diverse professional, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, industry and geographical focus, and procedural and substantive skills. The project was led by ArbitralWomen member Ema Vidak Gojković (Independent Arbitrator & Counsel, Vidak Arbitration) and former ArbitralWomen Board member Elena Gutierrez García de Cortázar (Partner, MGC Arbitration).
The Compendium was compiled in response to the continued significant underrepresentation of women on arbitral tribunals. The large number of women included in the Compendium demonstrates that there are many highly qualified women arbitrators. The Compendium is anticipated to serve as a valuable resource for parties, counsel and institutions committed to gender equity in the appointment of arbitrators.
The Compendium is user-friendly, with several categories such as experience (number of cases handled), industry and geographical focus, procedural experience, and familiarity with substantive laws. The Compendium also includes the completed arbitrator questionnaires of all the women. You can download an electronic copy of the Compendium here. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of Global Arbitration Review (GAR) and Burford Capital, 1,500 copies of the Compendium will be published in hard copy and distributed.
While the inaugural Compendium includes more than 170 women, it does not purport to be comprehensive. Mute Off Thursdays recognises that there are many more qualified women arbitrators than appear in the inaugural edition of the Compendium, and encourages women who wish to be featured in future editions to contact the current Mute Off Thursdays’ co-chairs: Elena Gutierrez García de Cortázar, Shreya Aren, Jennifer Bryant and Lindsay Gastrell.
Mute Off Thursdays is a group which gathers more than 600 senior women in arbitration. It was established in March 2020 by Ema Vidak Gojkovic, Gaëlle Filhol, Claire Morel de Westgaver and Catherine Anne Kunz to help women stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has since grown into an initiative with goals that have outlasted the pandemic. Mute Off Thursdays’ core activity is a weekly 30-minute Zoom meeting on Thursdays, during which women deliver short, fifteen-minute presentations on an arbitration-related issue. In 2020, Mute Off Thursdays won the ERA Pledge GAR Award for the best diversity initiative of the year.
Submitted by former ArbitralWomen President and current ArbitralWomen Advisory Council member Dana MacGrath