2021 WIA Annual Report
Women in Arbitration (“WIA") was launched by HKIAC in February 2018. The initiative is committed to promoting the success of female practitioners in international arbitration and related practice areas in China. WIA provides a forum for members to consider and discuss current topics, grow networks and business relationships, and develop the next generation of leading female practitioners.
The WIA Committee, established in August 2020, is responsible for shaping the policies and activities of the WIA to promote gender diversity in arbitration and related areas in China. The WIA Committee members are based in various locations to extend the reach of WIA's work.
To further the reach of WIA, new members joined the group, and a website, a WeChat page, and a LinkedIn account were launched to provide media support for WIA activities.
1) 2020 Annual Report
For details of our 2020 annual report, please see below.
2) Events Organised by WIA in 2021
- 10 June 2021: “WIA+ Series: Female Uniqueness & Art”, co-organised with the Shanghai Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai
- 17 September 2021: “WIA+ Series: How to Get Your First Appointment as an Arbitrator”, co-organised with the Rising Arbitrators Initiative (RAI), Beijing
- 9 December 2021: “WIA+ Series: The Future of Female Legal Professionals”, co-organised with the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA), Shenzhen
Out of the three events organised by WIA 21 out of 25 speakers were female (84%).
In the events held by HKIAC, from 2018 to 2021, the percentage of women speakers has risen from 40% to 56%. In terms of female appointments in HKIAC, we have also seen a rise from 7.1% to 27.4% between 2015 and 2021.
3) Events Supported by WIA
- 12 September 2021: 2021 China Arbitration Week - Women Arbitration Forum
- 28 October 2021: ERA Webinar Series: The Art of Deliberations: Tips From Behind The Scenes
- 25 November 2021: Cortex Capital Limited’s live interactive workshop: Virtual Advocacy and the Female Factor
4) WE GROW Mentorship and Coaching Programme
In June 2021, WIA launched the “WE GROW Mentorship and Coaching Programme” (“Programme”). The Programme aims to support female professionals in the development of their careers in the field of international arbitration. Mentees/Coachees are encouraged to draw on the experience of a female practitioner with more years of experience in international arbitration, which may cover a variety of issues:
This year, we received a total of 53 applications from potential Mentees/Coachees from different jurisdictions. Among these applications, we paired up ten mentors/mentees:
|1||Shahla Ali||Chinwekele Alli|
|2||Bao Chiann||Geng Xueying|
|3||Brenda Horrigan||Li Qishi|
|4||Connie Lee||Zhu Xiaohong|
|5||Monika Prusinowska||Naranbulang KHUKHUU|
|6||Sun Binbin||Zhang Xiaoyu|
|7||Tam Winnie||Liu Changying|
|8||Melody Wang||Liu Er Chan|
|9||Zhang Lixia||Su Min|
|10||Zhang Xi||Xu Yehong|
In February 2022, the programme was nominated for Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge in Global Arbitration Review Awards 2022.
For further details, please see here.
5) Launch of WIA LinkedIn
WIA launched a LinkedIn account in October 2021. As a platform to promote future activities of WIA, it will also be used to feature Committee Members and Mentor/Mentees of WE GROW. The account reached 200 followers as at December 2021.
For further details, please see here.
2020 WIA Annual Report
Since the establishment of the Women in Arbitration (“WIA”) Committee and Executive Committee (collectively, the “Committees”) in August 2020, the Committees have engaged in a variety of tasks including reviewing the organisational structure of WIA, launching its website and WeChat page, organising WIA activities and seminars as well as managing the admission of new members. This report now summarises the recent work and activities of the WIA:
1) The Establishment of the WIA Committee and Executive Committee
The first WIA Committee and WIA Executive Committee were announced in August 2020. The responsibilities of the WIA Committee include developing and shaping policies, organizing activities to strengthen and promote gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in arbitration and related areas in China. WIA’s Committee members come from all parts of the world with a view to expand the WIA’s scope of influence. The Committee for the 2020 – 2022 term is co-chaired by Winnie Tam SBS, SC, JP and Lixia Zhang. Other Committee members include Shahla Ali, Chiann Bao, Lili Jiang, Binbin Sun, Melody Wang, Ling Yang and Xi Zhang.
The Executive Committee will work and cooperate with the Committee in respect of the implementation of policies and the organisation of activities. Members of the Executive Committee for the 2020 - 2022 term include Ling Yang, Yu Li, Monika Prusinowska, Connie Lee and Xiaojun Wang. All members of the Committees are fluent in both Chinese and English.
For details of the Committees, please click here.
2) First Meeting of the Committees
On 12 May 2020, the Committees conducted a preliminary meeting via Zoom. Ling Yang and Yu Li explained and shared their vision and ideas regarding the establishment of the Committees. The meeting considered various issues concerning the WIA, including the appointment of Winnie Tam SBS, SC, JP and Lixia Zhang as the Co-Chairs of the Committee and the official appointment of other members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee also reported at the meeting on the launch of the WIA Task Force and the WIA website.
3) Launch and Management of the WIA Website and WeChat Page
- WIA’s website and release of related news
- WIA website is launched;
- Press release of the first WIA Committees on HKIAC’s website;
- Press release on HKIAC’s Linkedln page; and
- Press release circulated to HKIAC’s database (targeted at all members of the WIA).
- Related press and news on Wechat page
- Press release of the first WIA Committees on HKIAC’s WeChat account;
- Des Voeux Chamber WeChat account sharing news of the first WIA Committees;
- Hua Mao & Gui Gu Law Firm’s WeChat account sharing news of the first WIA Committees;
- China Arbitration Institute’s WeChat account sharing news of the first WIA Committees.
4) Events Organized by the WIA
- 4 February 2018: HKIAC launching the Women in Arbitration initiative
- 8 March 2018: “Women and Arbitration: Professional Developments and Personal Growth”
- 8 June 2018: “Chinese Women and Arbitration: How can we do better?”
- 29 October 2018: “Chinese Arbitral Women from Hong Kong to the World”
- 8 March 2019: “Increasing diversity in arbitration – whether this is a legitimate question?”
- 6 September 2019: WIA’s Summer’s Whisky Night
- 8 March 2020: WIA inviting applications for the first WIA Committees
- 19 August 2020: Press Release of the Establishment of the first WIA’s Committees
- 26 August 2020: “WIA Life in Arbitration Series – Independent arbitrator: present and the future”
- 10 September 2020: “WIA Life in Arbitration Series – New media, new sectors, new values: personal branding of lawyers in the new generation”
- 24 September 2020: “WIA Life in Arbitration Series – Female Practitioners in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, at 2020 China Arbitration Week”
- 9 October 2020: “WIA Life in Arbitration Series – Female Arbitrators in the eyes of Male Arbitrators”
In 2018, WIA organized 3 events in which the panels were completely made up of female speakers.
In 2019, WIA organized 2 events. 13 of 24 speakers were female (54.2%).
In 2020, WIA organized WIA Life in Arbitration Series. Among the 37 speakers who participated in these webinars, 25 were female (68%).
5) Supported Events
May-July 2020: HK45 Virtual Fireside Chat Series 1: Showcasing female talent in arbitration
November-December 2020: ERA Push for Parity Series
18 December 2020: HK45 Virtual Fireside Chat Series 2: Showcasing female talent in arbitration
6) WIA Task Force
The WIA Task Force regarding the diversity in the appointment of arbitrators in China officially commenced on 24 September 2020. As of 31 December 2020, we have received 194 responses to our questionnaire from individuals and 6 responses from institutions.