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Recognising Gender Differences in All Issues Mediation

Date:10 APR 2007

Susan Tilley, Solicitor and Mediator. Do men and women experience mediation in different ways and emerge from the process with different outcomes by virtue of their gender difference? Does the gender of the mediator have an impact on the outcome for the parties?

Mediation is said to produce benefits which matter more to women than obtaining a 'fair' share of the matrimonial assets. However, men tend to have better negotiating skills which can skew the process and leave women feeling that they have not been able to have their views heard. Studies have also showed that in general, women are interested in relationship issues whereas men tend to focus on legal and financial issues.

This article reviews a number of studies into the impact of gender in all issues mediation. It looks at the different types of mediation and how male and female mediators can approach mediation in different ways, and the methods they adopt to move the parties towards settlement. It analyses the results of a study which considered in depth the experience of five women of all issues mediation and considers the impact of the gender of the mediator on the mediation process. For the full article see April [2007] Fam Law.