A long and winding road....hurray for #CareersinArbitration
I have written before about the difficulties of establishing a career in international arbitration. I would say not a week goes by without an aspiring practitioner contacting me for advice and I do my utmost to help where I can. We all know it is a long and very winding road to a successful career in this field. But to stretch the metaphor somewhat, that road has been recently paved with the launch of #CareersinArbitration by Amanda Lee, who is an international arbitration practitioner and consultant at Seymours Law in London. Careersin Arbitration is active on LinkedIn and has a website under construction (www.careersinarbitration.com). Amanda founded CareersinArbitration to “try and make information about entering the field more accessible to excellent candidates from all over the world”. It is an excellent initiative and worthy of all our support. You can post job and intern opportunities using #CareersinArbitration and recently there was a drive to share tips for aspiring practitioners. If you are active on LinkedIn, please do follow and share content using the relevant hashtag.
#CareersinArbitration is part of a shift in attitudes in international arbitration and seems also to be emblematic of a more inclusive approach to new entrants to the field. Having just collated the 2018 statistics on the representation of women arbitrators on tribunals, I am feeling optimistic about the future of our industry. The statistics will be published by Global Arbitration Review shortly, so watch out for them. In the meantime, please continue to think outside the box in appointing arbitrators. The Pledge website has links to assist in identifying female arbitrators and many of the links include names of male and female arbitrators that you may not have considered.* Stalwarts such as ArbitralWomen have been there all my career and continue to do fantastic work in raising awareness of the issue. But it is gratifying to see new initiatives springing up all the time. We now have Women Way in Arbitration in Latin America, together with he Swedish Women’s Arbitration Network and other women in law networks. We have initatives addressing broader diversity challenges in arbitration such as the Alliance and those spearheaded by the AAA-ICDR. We have numerous young arbitration practitioner groups. The ArbEx scheme, which I have written about before, is a fantastic resource for aspiring arbitrators, in the same way that #CareersinArbitration is for aspiring practitioners. We even have support for my humble greenpledge which seeks to reduce the environmental impact of international arbitrations, as the greenpledge will be debated at the forthcoming ICC Arbitration Conference in London on 6 November. More information is available here.
There is a sense of entrepreneurial spirit in arbitration that I have not felt previously. Increasingly, it seems that international arbitration is no longer that clique that we all grumbled about a few years ago, but is finally emerging into this century with a forward looking, truly global network of engaged practitioners. And that makes me smile.
* And my CV is here for your records…..