In favor of equality

Gender equality is one of CAM-CCBC’s guidelines for diversity, in the conflict management scenario

By Estela Cangerana

There is still much to be done to promote a more egalitarian environment in the legal world, but the efforts led by CAM-CCBC are already beginning to bear fruit, especially on the issue of gender equality. In 2020, for example, the number of female arbitrators on the Centre’s list reached 32.3% rate. The female participation is the highest in CAM-CCBC’s history, the highest among Brazilian arbitration institutions, and even exceeds the target set by Administrative Resolution 30/2018, which defined parameters for equal opportunities for women, within the scope of arbitration.

The index, however, is just one of many initiatives introduced in recent years and intensified during the administration of President Eleonora Coelho, also the first woman to lead the Centre. Today, CAM-CCBC plays a leading role, with shared experiences in the main discussion forums on the subject in the country, such as Mulheres do Brasil (Women of Brazil) movement, headed by businesswoman Luiza Helena Trajano, and with the active participation of Eleonora Coelho. In parallel, gender equality also manifests itself in CAM-CCBC’s administrative organization, and in its attitude towards procedures.

Data confirm that the Centre has similar indexes to the best companies, in terms of female participation, including in the decision-making spheres. These figures, in many cases, even exceed the statistics of international arbitration institutions.

Between 2018 and 2020, the percentage of participation of women in the arbitrator’s list grew by 20%. The number of mixed triune tribunals went from 55% in 2018 to 61.3% in 2020 and the number of women presiding over these tribunals went from 38% to 42% in the same period.

This positioning extends equally to events organised, supported, or sponsored by CAM-CCBC. Since 2019, at least 30% of the speakers ought to be female. This means, in practice, advances such as the participation of 49% of women among the speakers at the VI Arbitration Congress in 2019, compared to only 15% at the first edition of the event in 2014. By way of comparison, in that year, the percentage of female arbitrators on the Centre’s list was only 12%.

Consciousness in all spheres

“The policy of promoting equality is a CAM-CCBC philosophy that has already been entrenched in all our spheres of action, and by all our employees. It is a clear and conscious orientation of the leaderships, shared by those who work, directly or indirectly, with the Centre”, says case manager Maísa Barboza, who has been part of the institution’s staff for nine years.

The guidance has been gaining momentum over the years. “With the adhesion to the ERA Pledge (Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge), in 2018, and the management of our president Eleonora Coelho, CAM-CCBC took a leading role in promoting this movement. In our day to day, we can see that this message has been understood by the market and has influenced the entire arbitration community and even related activities”, adds the case manager, highlighting the indirect effects on female empowerment in the legal world.

Internally, CAM-CCBC has been striving for equity in its hiring for years, which has led to a diverse staff. The presence of women is consistent in management, including vice-presidencies and advisory board, secretariats, and departments in general.