Last week fellow mediator, blogger and rabble-rouser Victoria Pynchon
published a post with a confrontational title: “Dispute Resolution by Old White Men: Gender Prejudice Sinks Arbitration Award
Lobbed like a Molotov cocktail, Vickie’s post blew gender bias apart, as she recited a litany of examples of discrimination spanning decades against women inside and outside the legal profession.
It’s not just the persistence of gender bias that makes women like Vickie and me so damn mad. It is also its effect: it makes us invisible — so much so that it drove me to ask out loud several weeks ago, “Where are all the women who mediate?“, as I looked at an ad for a panel of 15 neutrals that included only one woman.
Now I’m asking a different question. A colleague just sent me a flyer for a workshop on diversity and conflict resolution to be held here in New England.
First the good news: the workshop leaders, all nationally prominent figures in the ADR and legal fields, are of different races and faiths.
Now the bad news: they’re all men.
So I gotta ask: how can you conduct a workshop on diversity without including at least one woman on your panel of speakers?
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