Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

CPR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

CPR is committed to encouraging all forms of diversity, equity and inclusion in dispute resolution, with a particular focus on increasing the number of diverse neutrals selected to mediate or arbitrate disputes, as well as increasing the opportunities for diverse attorneys appearing before neutrals. We believe these are critical imperatives to enhance the accessibility and acceptance of ADR, and to ensure that all available talent is deployed in support of dispute management.

Go to Diverse Neutrals Interview Series

Learn about the CPR Diversity Commitment

CPR’s ongoing plan to move the needle on diversity comprises four prongs:

1. Grow the Pipeline:

CPR is focused on attracting diverse individuals to ADR through our outreach and educational efforts and growing CPR’s panel of diverse neutrals through active recruitment efforts. CPR has worked in collaboration with the National Bar Association, the New York State and City Bar Associations and other organizations to expand and diversify CPR’s universe of neutrals.

CPR has opened additional pathways for neutrals to become a part of the CPR Employment Arbitration Panels and Employment Related Mass Claims Master List. This pathway is intended to streamline the process and accommodate a greater range of applicants. In this effort to welcome participation in  Employment -oriented dispute resolution  from a broader swath of professionals, CPR has made available trainings in both labor and employment as well as the  arbitration process. Learn more about these opportunities HERE.

2. Support the Pipeline:

CPR does this in numerous ways:

Since 2016, CPR has partnered with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) and FINRA on an educational apprentice and mentorship program for LCLD Fellow Alumni interested in developing expertise as neutrals for alternative dispute resolution. The two–year program is structured to facilitate early skills development in mediation and arbitration and exposure to better enable participants to be qualified as neutrals and better positioned to become neutrals of choice. In the past year, CPR has expanded the program to include interested diverse individuals outside of the LCLD network.

CPR’s “Young Lawyer Rule”: CPR is helping to promote the diversity of lawyers appearing before arbitral tribunals through the adoption of a “Young Lawyer” Rule into its domestic and international arbitration rules. The Rule aims to increase the number of “stand-up” opportunities for young attorneys -- who are often women and people of color -- to examine witnesses and present arguments at arbitral hearings. The Rule has been incorporated in the 2019 CPR Rules for Administered Arbitration of International Disputes, 2019 CPR Administered Arbitration Rules, the 2018 CPR Non-Administered Rules for International Disputes, and the 2018 CPR Non-Administered Arbitration Rules. CPR’s “Young Lawyer Rule” was nominated for the GAR Award for Innovation.

3. Promote and Educate on DEI:

CPR is working to find new ways to make others aware of available diverse neutrals, recognize those who contribute to diversity efforts and initiatives, and educate the community on these issues. These efforts include:

In the spring of 2023, CPR began a new social media campaign and video interview series highlighting the background, experience, and expertise of its diverse neutrals.

CPR has created a brochure promoting its distinguished female neutrals called, Look who’s joined ADR’s Most Exclusive Club, pursuant to a generous grant by Victoria Pynchon.

In the spring of 2023, CPR began a new social media campaign and video series highlighting the background, experience, and expertise of its diverse neutrals.

CPR’s Diversity in ADR Task Force alongside CPR staff, drive diversity through participation on DEI issues in the community, through publishing articles, and making presentations. 

CPR also offers interactive seminars and training on diversity, equity and inclusion and unconscious bias to all of its neutrals, and on how to develop a career as counsel or arbitrator in dispute resolution to the expanded community.

CPR also annually recognizes a person or organization who has contributed significantly to diversity in the dispute resolution field through its Diversity in ADR Award, which is awarded at CPR’s Annual Meeting.

4. Improve Selection:

The most important statistic is not how many diverse mediators and arbitrators are on a panel, but how many get selected. CPR is striving to improve selection rates in numerous ways:

CPR’s 2022 Diversity Commitment - CPR has a history of inviting the community to take affirmative steps to improve DEI in ADR. CPR’s 2022 Diversity Commitment updated its 2020 pledge. This updated diversity pledge adopts the 30% metric of the Ray Corollary Initiative TM (RCI), and encourages corporations, law firms, and CPR itself to set as a goal the inclusion of 30% diverse neutrals on any slate from which mediators or arbitrators will ultimately be selected. The RCI is grounded in social science research that demonstrates when 30% or more of a final slate of candidates is diverse, the statistical chance of selecting a diverse candidate is disproportionately higher. The RCI promises to drive greater diversity in the selection of neutrals for ADR matters and, thus forms the basis of CPR's revised Diversity Commitment. The RCI is also supported by a not-for-profit, RCI Inc, chaired by CPR board member, Homer LaRue, and on whose board CPR President and CEO, Allen Waxman, sits. Read the press release announcing the Diversity Commitment and sign today.

Equal Representation in Arbitration (ERA) Pledge - CPR is a signatory to the ERA, which seeks to increase the number of female arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis. The pledge calls for committees and governing bodies in the arbitration field to include a fair representation of women and seeks the inclusion of women on rosters and lists of potential appointees. In addition, the pledge encourages the collating and publication of statistics relating to the gender diversity of appointed arbitrators and that support be provided to younger women seeking to enter the field.

CPR's Model Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Clause- CPR has created a model clause, available to parties who wish to pre-commit to a diverse panel of neutrals in a future dispute to be resolved by arbitration.

Neutral Self-Identification – During the nominating process, CPR provides the parties with a slate of candidates that can self-identify as diverse to enable diverse selection.

CPR’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement - CPR has added to its neutral nomination letter a diversity, equity and inclusion statement encouraging parties to consider the benefits of diversity on the quality of decision-making and the role of implicit bias at the time they are selecting neutrals.

Here is the language:
CPR is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the dispute resolution field, especially among women and minorities, who continue to be underrepresented as neutrals even though robust evidence demonstrates that diversity improves group decision-making. Those arbitrators who have self-identified as having one or more diverse characteristics are indicated on the attached Slate of Candidates. Members of CPR's Panels of Distinguished Neutrals undergo a rigorous vetting process and comprise those among the most respected mediators and arbitrators in the world. While considering the variety of factors that make a candidate right for your dispute, CPR encourages you to remain cognizant of the role that implicit bias can play in the selection process and to consider the value of diversity and the role that your selection plays in furthering inclusion in the dispute resolution community.


Sample events
  • 5.16.23: In collaboration with partners Ray Corollary Initiative, Howard University School of Law School, MCCA (Minority Corporate Counsel Association), ACC Foundation, and ABA Dispute Resolution Section's Women in Dispute Resolution (WIDR), CPR hosted an educational and networking event in Washington DC designed to inspire greater diversity in the selection of neutrals for dispute resolution. During the educational portion of the evening, panelists discussed the implicit biases that distort decision-making, including neutral selection, as well as methods for managing those biases. The networking opportunity paired neutrals with “selectors” – counsel authorized to hire neutrals for the cases they manage - with the goal of  helping selectors familiarize themselves with the burgeoning community of diverse neutrals who populate the field today.  The event was attended by the presidents of CPR, AAA and JAMS.

  • 3.3.23: A session entitled “Bias Busters” was held at the CPR Annual Meeting in New Orleans.  Speakers instructed the audience as to how to apply better decision-making tools to disrupt unhelpful biases and improve quality in the arbitrator selection process. The panel comprised:

    • Ema Vidak Gojkovic (Co-Moderator) - Vidak Arbitration, Independent Counsel & Arbitrator
    • Katherine Simpson (Co-Moderator) - Simpson Dispute Resolution, Arbitrator
    • Robert Shives (Speaker) - Shinko Electric America, Inc., General Counsel
    • Mimi Lee (Speaker) - Chevron, Managing Counsel
    • Mark Friedman (Speaker) - Debevoise & Plimpton, Partner

  • 1.26.23 : CPR Vice President Ellen Waldman participated in New York Law School’s Annual Symposium on ADR and Diversity, an event that explores the reasons why, in a diverse economy driven by diverse participants, the practice of arbitration and mediation has been persistently homogeneous. She discussed CPR’s newest Diversity Commitment in a presentation entitled, “Making It Real: The Ray Corollary Initiative.” 


  • 2022 Annual Meeting - CPR hosted a program sponsored by the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP), featuring Desmond Ang, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, who has researched the impact of the film, The Birth of a Nation, and studied its contribution to the spread and perpetuation of white supremacist values and anti-Black bigotry. The provocative presentation was followed by an interactive discussion with Hon. Timothy K. Lewis, co-chair of CPR’s Diversity in ADR Task Force, and Gail Wright Sirmans, neutral on CPR’s Panel of Distinguished Neutrals and Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. Watch the presentation here.

  • 01.27.2022 - New York Law School Symposium on ADR and Diversity. Speakers included Judge Shira Scheindlin (Ret.), CPR Distinguished Neutral, CPR Distinguished Neutrals Kabir Duggal, Rachel Gupta and Dana MacGrath.

  • 05.26.2021 - CPR Institute's Diversity in ADR Task Force was joined by four members of the Divided Community Project (DCP), a multi-pronged racial equity program housed at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the winner of CPR’s 2021 Professional Article Award. Our guest speakers included Thomas Battles, Lead Mediator of the DCP's Bridge Initiative @ Mortiz; William E. Froehlich, Deputy Director of DCP, and Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; Grande Lum, Chair of DCP's Steering Committee, and former Director of DCP; and Nancy Rogers, Professor Emeritus at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and former Ohio Attorney General. Discussion focused on how collaborative race equity initiatives are emerging in communities across the country and DCP's forthcoming second edition to their April 2020 report, A Practical Guide to Planning Initiative for working Together to Advance Racial Equity. Review DCP's presentation to the Diversity in ADR Task Force here.

  • 05.06.2021 - CPR’s Y-ADR and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section organized “Yes, You Can!" Pathways to a Career in Conflict Prevention & Resolution. This roundtable discussion featured an all-star panel of conflict prevention and resolution professionals who shared their personal – and varied - pathways to getting to where they are today. This discussion was moderated by CPR's Anna Hershenberg, and Lauren A. Jones, ADR Coordinator at NYC Surrogates’ Court and panelists included Dina Eisenberg, Ombuds and Senior Director, Global Ombuds Services at Twitter; Deborah Enix-Ross, Senior Advisor, International Dispute Resolution at Debevoise & Plimpton; Tajae Gaynor, Director, Westchester and Rockland Mediation Centers of CLUSTER Inc; Erin Gleason Alvarez, Founder & CEO, Take Charge Negotiations; and Pete Swanson, Chief Practitioner, Office of Conflict Management and Prevention, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Review this presentation here.

  • 01.29.2021 - CPR's Annual Meeting featured panelTime to Move the Needle! CPR's Diversity Commitment and Model Clause and How to Track for Accountability. This panel discussion was moderated by CPR Institute's Anna Hershenberg, and featured Hannah Sholl, Senior Counsel, Global Litigation & Competition at Visa; Brenda Carr, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Arnold & Porter; Tim Hopkins, Senior Consultant of McKinley Advisors; and Linda Klein, Partner at Baker Donelson.

  • 01.18.2021 - The CPR Institute became a supporting entity of Racial Equality for Arbitration Lawyers (R.E.A.L.)

  • 12.14.2020 - The CPR Institute and its Young Leaders in Alternative Dispute Resolution (Y-ADR) was proud to sponsor a program with the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC) entitled Getting Noticed By the Big 3: Institutions, Counsel, and Parties. This panel program discussed historical underrepresentation of Latinx in the arbitration field as well as pathways and advice for candidates to be noticed by institutions, colleagues and parties to selected for domestic and international commercial matters.

  • 6.12.2020 - Members of the CPR community convened to discuss racial injustice and implicit bias in the United States and in the ADR world in a conversation moderated by the CPR’s President and CEO Allen Waxman, The Honorable Timothy Lewis, CPR neutrals Erin Gleason Alvarez and Gail Wright Sirmans, and CPR Board members: Bayer U.S. General Counsel Scott Partridge, Winston & Strawn partner Taj Clayton, and Debevoise & Plimpton partner John Kiernan. Attendees also shared measures undertaken by their respective organizations to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive space for underrepresented persons.

  • 1.28.2020 - CPR proudly supported New York Law School's ADR and Diversity Symposium, exploring the reasons why, in a diverse economy driven by diverse participants, the practice of arbitration and mediation has been persistently homogeneous. Participants will engage in break-out discussions to frame real-world recommendations on what approaches – if any – can accomplish the goal of ADR neutrals’ reflecting the diversity of the disputants with whom they work. Speakers included Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives (keynote); Ahmed Abdel-Hakam, Senior Associate - International Arbitration and Public International Law, Eversheds Sutherland (London) | CPR Y-ADR Steering Committee; Dr. Kabir Duggal, Attorney, Arnold & Porter and Lecturer-in-Law, Columbia Law School | Member of CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; Paula Henin, Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; and Allen Waxman, President and CEO, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution