New scholarship launched to support women in dispute resolution

New scholarship launched to support women in dispute resolution

27 October 2021 By Jerome Doraisamy
Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC

Resolution Institute has introduced a scholarship, named for NSW Governor Margaret Beazley AC QC, aimed at increasing the number of female professionals in determinative dispute resolution.

According to a recent Australian Arbitration Survey, which covered a total of 223 arbitrations in which the gender of arbitrators was disclosed, less than 10 per cent of appointed arbitrators were women.

Of the international arbitrations surveyed, women made up just 8 per cent of arbitrators, and in domestic ones, women accounted for only 7 per cent of arbitrators.

This is in line with the fact that, at present, just 6 per cent of accredited expert determiners in Australia are female, and just 7 per cent of Resolution Institute expert determination nominations in the past twelve months (to March 2021) have been to women.

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“Change is required,” Resolution Institute proclaimed in a statement, noting that it is committed to ensuring meaningful change in closing the gap.

In support of such change, the dispute resolution membership organisation has introduced a new scholarship, exclusively for women, which is aimed at boosting the numbers of females in the profession of determinative dispute resolution.

The Governor of NSW, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, has agreed to lend her name to the scholarship.

“I am very honoured to have been asked to have the scholarship named after me. In accepting that honour, I am confident it will add to the contribution the Resolution Institute is making in building a stronger Alternative Dispute Resolution community,” Governor Beazley said.  

Resolution Institute CEO Amber Williams added: “There is a significant gender disparity in determinative dispute resolution in Australia and New Zealand. Women are substantially underrepresented in the determinative community generally.”

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“Although arbitration is thriving in Australia, a recent report has pointed out that the appointment of female arbitrators within Australia is five years behind the global norm, with less than 10 per cent of appointed arbitrators being females,” she went on.

“In line with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan and our commitment to increasing representation of women in determinative and commercial dispute resolution practice, we are pleased to announce the inaugural The Hon Margaret Beazley AC QC Expert Determination Scholarship has been awarded to Victorian-based dispute resolution practitioner Alicia Hill.”  

“It’s an encouragement for me to branch out into an area that I have toyed with the idea of formally qualifying in for some time. I am honoured to be chosen as the inaugural scholarship recipient, and I hope that by doing so, I can encourage other women to follow suit,” said Ms Hill.

“The inaugural scholarship was open to all Resolution Institute female members, for those wishing to either develop an alternative career path or to be included on the Resolution Institute Register of Practising Expert Determiners,” concluded Ms Williams.

The scholarship will be offered annually, with the first course running online in October 2021.

New scholarship launched to support women in dispute resolution
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