May 26, 2020 Articles

Lack of Diversity Continues to Hurt Alternative Dispute Resolution

Increasing diversity among ADR practitioners will serve to enhance the business of ADR and further legitimize ADR as a conflict-resolution solution.

By Armeen F. Mistry

The legal community has never faced more pressure to increase diversity. One well-known initiative is the Mansfield Rule by the Diversity Lab, which sets a goal calling for firms to consider diverse candidates for at least 30 percent of open leadership and governance roles. As in the legal community overall, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioners—and, more recently, clients—have pointed to how the field’s lack of diversity hurts ADR as a business and conflict-resolution solution. Why does this problem exist, and what can be done to remedy it? Even with a celebrity advocate, the situation persists.

Lack of diversity in ADR legitimately impedes the field, and the best chance for improvement comes from us pressuring ourselves to act inclusively.

Lack of diversity in ADR legitimately impedes the field, and the best chance for improvement comes from us pressuring ourselves to act inclusively.

Credit: Pexels, Anna Shvets

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