Where are women who mediate, part 2: how can you hold a panel discussion on diversity and forget to include women?

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?

Well?

                        author

Diane J. Levin

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… MORE >

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