An advertisement for one of the big ADR firms appears regularly in the weekly newspaper for lawyers distributed here in Massachusetts.
The ad, in sober gray, black, and white, covers more than half a page. It displays thumbnail photos of the neutrals on its panel, with the names in full caps printed neatly beneath each headshot.
Samuel. Jerry. William. Gordon. David. Patrick. Cortland. James. A second James. Robert. Charles. Allan. Eric. John.
And, like an afterthought, or a printing error, one lone Maria.
This ad bothers me. It seems to contradict everything I have told my daughter about women and careers. “You can be anything you want,” I have told her, ever since she was a little girl.
This ad tells my daughter something very different.
Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property issues, and serves on numerous mediation panels, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Training and coaching are an enduring passion -- she has taught thousands of people to resolve conflict, negotiate better, or become mediators -- from Croatian judges to Fortune 500 executives.
A geek at heart, Levin consults on web design and social media to professionals. She blogs about ADR at the intersection of law, science, and popular culture at the award-winning MediationChannel.com, regarded as one of the world's top ADR blogs. She also tracks and catalogues ADR blogs world-wide at ADRblogs.com, where she has created a community for bloggers writing about constructive ways to resolve disputes.
web site: http://dianelevin.com