Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Gender Differences in Dispute Resolution Practice
Gina Brown and Marquette Law Professor Andrea Schneider report survey results: "certain practice areas are far more male and certain others are quite female. Second, it appears to matter how the neutral is selected in mediation. Networking resulted in only 29% women while provider lists resulted in an increased percentage of 47%. Finally, arbitration and mediation are not the same for gender integration. Arbitration seems to hold steady at 20% regardless of selection process and even decreases further in panel arbitrations."
Among their recommendations: "in three arbitrator panels, when considering equally qualified candidates, there should be a presumption that a woman be selected as part of a panel. Furthermore, neutrals need to be aware that personal networks still appear to be the primary source of referrals and that these networks need to be strengthened and broadened to include women.... Courts, provider organizations, agencies, and other organizations that administer and oversee ADR programs should be encouraged to use lists and the lists themselves should be broadened to include more women. ... Additional efforts in certain practice areas (commercial, construction, etc.) are likely warranted with a targeted program to identify and encourage women and minorities to serve as neutrals."