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#IWD2022 #breakthe bias and Equitable Briefing

In this month of International Women's Day, I have been reflecting on the mediation profession. While it is fair to say that in the family and workplace spaces there are significant numbers of female mediators, it appears that there are significantly less in the commercial mediation space. When I speak to lawyers and ask which female mediators they have been briefing, many struggle to identify more than one or two but can easily identify a number of male mediators. Thinking back to one of the comments I heard from a senior partner of a national firm when I first became a mediator, he said to me, "Nicole, you sound like you know what you're doing, but we're very conservative lawyers. We'll keep using the mediators we're comfortable and familiar with, even if they're not very good." Not surprisingly, the mediators that many lawyers are familiar and comfortable with, are male, are white, are over 50. So here's my challenge to the lawyers in my network. Next time you need to brief a mediator, don't just go for the ones that are familiar and comfortable. See if you can expand your horizons and apply an equitable briefing mindset to actively seek out female mediators. #negotiation #commercialmediation #equitablebriefing #iwd2022 #breakthebias

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