Gender representation amongst adjudicators

women-in-constructon-lawAdjudication is one of the most common forms of dispute resolution used in the New Zealand construction industry. When a dispute arises the parties are able to agree a specific adjudicator and failing agreement they are able to apply to an authorised nominating body to have an adjudicator appointed.

I recently read an article from Brewin Lieghton Paisner, a UK based firm, who had undertaken a review on the composition nominating bodies in the UK. The findings were that the proportion of women on the panels of nominating bodies was low, but more importantly it was significantly less than the composition of the construction industry as a whole. The results were (acronyms can be found here):

  • CE: 0 women out 42 on their list – 0%
  • TeCSA: 4 women out of 68 on their list – 6%
  • CIArb: 5 women out of 83 on their list – 6%
  • RIBA: 5 women out of 65 on their list – 8%
  • TECBAR: 26 women out of 140 on their list – 19%
  • RICS did not wish to share this information.

I thought it would be worthwhile to conduct a similar review on the five authorised nominating authorities (ANAs) in New Zealand to see how we compare. Based off the adjudicators listed on the ANAs’ websites:

  1. BDT: 0 out of 12  on Principal Panel – 0%; 3 out of 12 on the General Panel – 25%; Average over both 3 out of 24 – 12.5%
  2. AMINZ – 2 out of 31 – 6%
  3. RICS ­– 1 out of 5 – 20%
  4. Adjudicators Association of New Zealand – 0 out of 15 – 0%
  5. Fairway – 2 out of 7 – 29%

The purpose of this is not to discuss the benefits that gender balance can bring but rather comment on the representation of decision makers. On the whole it would be fair to say that the percentages of females on the New Zealand ANAs is not representative of our industry.

There are many women in our industry who are equally as competent as the males on the ANAs’ lists. If you believe that someone you know has the skills, time and ability to become an adjudicator then you should encourage them to consider it.

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