My Statement to the ArbitralWomen AGM resigning my role as President

Recently, serious proposals were put to the Board to bring the organisation in line with the contemporary practices and the modern world into which ArbitralWomen wishes to make inroads as an organisation serious about its purportedly democratic structure. Those proposals were designed to promote the values we supposedly espouse and stand for publicly – equality of treatment, equality of opportunity, transparency, diversity, integrity and democracy and which are, in my view, a reflection of modern principles of corporate governance. Since I believe, very passionately, that after 25 years of a despotic regime, those principles should be translated in how ArbitralWomen governs itself, I have pushed very hard for such change, but such change has been resisted by precisely those who favour an archaic, ‘robber-baron’ style of internal governance and structure.

Instead, what is favoured by some Board members for a global organisation is a nepotistic family business model out of kilter with the new world in which we operate. For me, such an organisation cannot hold its head high as a serious contender, pushing for serious change, when it is itself caught up in an hypocritical conspiracy devoid of integrity. Attempts to modernise the process of decision making including greater diversity, transparency and integrity have been described as ‘unjustified modifications’ to the internal structure by those currently best placed to benefit from continuing the model in perpetuity.

Such recalcitrant practices hinder progress and muddy the conviction of the message being conveyed to others about an organisation’s objectives and vision. An organisation cannot legitimately espouse and demand change from others when it is not prepared to subject itself to the same introspection, review, critique and any necessary ensuing change that such an assessment demands. Without taking necessary action regarding itself, such an organisation has no right to readily criticise others of failing to do the same. Unless the organisation is willing to embrace necessary internal structural change, it cannot be the vehicle for hope that I and so many others imagined it could or would be.

I cannot, therefore, in all good conscience and on the principles of integrity and transparency which, for me, are essential pre-requisites for anyone who professes to stand for equality and diversity, continue to align myself with an organisation for whom such matters are an anathema. I therefore, resign from the Board and membership of ArbitralWomen forthwith and effective immediately.

I thank all those who support the fight for equality and diversity and wish you all well. Thank you.