Here at the Blog, we do our fair share of pontificating and opinionating. But now, we’d like to hear more from you! Today we’re launching our first poll question, and we hope you’ll participate in droves.
Our first topic concerns the under-representation of women in arbitration, a topic I blogged about a few months ago. I argued that while the paucity of women might be most visible at the very top of the arbitration world, where there are very limited numbers of women arbitrators and arbitration partners, the problems faced by the generation of younger women seeking to make a viable career in arbitration are no less concerning. We have room to improve both in women’s leadership and in women’s sustainable participation in arbitration practice. We know that this issues are interconnected, at least in the long term–today’s “leaky pipeline” that leads women to leave practice can result in tomorrow’s absent women leaders. But the leadership and sustainable participation problems also have their own immediate causes. On one hand, an elite and self-reenforcing system of appointments that favors the known (and overwhelmingly male) quantity. On the other hand, a culture of ever-increasing workplace demands that can make it difficult for younger lawyers to rise in their field without a nearly unmanageable amount of personal sacrifice.
Our first poll question will serve, essentially, as a diagnostic: what do you think are the biggest problems preventing equal representation for women in arbitration?
The poll is accessible below. You may also access the poll as well as in the upper right corner of our webpage. Your responses to the poll are anonymous, although you have the option at the end of the poll to include your name and email address, if you wish. The poll will remain open through Friday, February 15 at midnight, GMT. We will compile results and analysis in a special post on the Blog.
The Blog is lucky to have readers and contributors around the world, and we look forward to tapping your opinions and experience in this poll and in future polls on a range of current issues in arbitration. Please encourage your colleagues and contacts in the arbitration community to participate the poll–the more responses we receive, the more nuanced results we will be able to share with you!