CIArb Features

Diversity In Arbitration? A law students Perspective

11 Oct 2018

Recently, YMG member Gunita Phalswal attended the Diversity in Arbitration event held at Hogan Lovells Singapore. As a law student who wants to progress into the field of arbitration, she took away the following lessons from this event.

I knew that there is a need for more women arbitrators but during the event the benefits of this were further highlighted to me. With the growing number of arbitrations conducted and the different types of parties involved, we need the arbitral panel to reflect the different types of people choosing arbitration as their preferred mechanism for dispute resolution. The most inspiring moment for me was when Geetu Singh, shared her experiences developing her career in India and the challenges she had to overcome.

Practical advice was given by Shobna Chandran, partner at Dentons Rodyk, about the different ways in which women can improve their chances of being appointed. Her top tips were:

  1. To find the right mentor
  2. To specialise in niche areas
  3. Build your profile
  4. Be Authentic

She also highlighted that when networking, you should be a giver and not just a taker. It was inspiring to see a women from an ethic minority group excel and mentor others at her firm. I think this highlights the need for more women who are at the top of their career ladder to be willing to help others on their journey. Sometimes women are perceived to be somewhat threatened by other women excelling, but I think this should not be a reality. I also had the pleasure to speak to Karen Mills who explained the role of Arbitral Women and the mentoring schemes that they offer. My own mentor, Amanda Lee, continues to inspire and support me on my journey.

Overall, this was a really inspiring event for me. I am thankful to Camilla Godman who kindly invited me to the event and gave me the opportunity to meet these incredible women.