The Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge (the “ERA Pledge”) was launched in May 2016. Keating attended this event and became a corporate signatory. In addition, are number of barristers and staff have signed the pledge in an individual capacity since the launch.
The ERA Pledge has two objectives. First, it aims to improve the profile and representation of women in international arbitration. Second, it seeks the appointment of women as arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis. The pledge recognises that, while there are many well-qualified women arbitrator candidates, they often lack visibility, with arbitrators frequently appointed from a relatively small pool of mostly male arbitrators. This lack of diversity raises questions as to the legitimacy of the arbitral process, unconscious bias and conflicts of interest, as well as procedural inefficiencies, including delays in the rendering of arbitral awards due to the limited availability of arbitrators.
For further information, or to become a signatory, visit: http://www.arbitrationpledge.com/take-the-pledge
An Update (October 2020)
Sine it’s 2016 launch, the ERA Pledge (which started as a proposal to effect change) has rapidly evolved into an award-winning global campaign. It has put the issue of gender equality firmly on the agenda for the international arbitration community, and opened a wider debate on diversity in the profession.
The impact of has included the following:
- Many arbitral institutions now publish statistics on the appointment of female arbitrators;
- Both institutions and parties are taking active steps to appoint women to tribunals; and
- Several arbitral institutions have adopted policies addressing diversity in their arbitrator appointments.
The Pledge Steering Committee reports that available data on appointments of arbitrators indicates that progress is being made. It reports 4,000 signatures as at 3 June 2020.
Keating Chambers remain actively involved in our support of the ERA Pledge, both in terms of our internal approach to diversity, and also by promoting it at our external events, encouraging additional signatories. For further information on other diversity initiatives, please visit our social responsibility page.