Progress Plans Promised for Gender Diversity at the Bar

The Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) recently announced new plans to tackle the unfair treatment of female barristers.

Responding to the Bar Standards Board’s announcement Sam Mercer, Head of Policy: Equality & Diversity and CSR at the Bar Council said: “This announcement by the BSB sets out a range of potential courses of action towards promoting gender equality at the Bar. Much of their action plan appears to support and recognise the importance and value of the work already undertaken by the Bar Council to improve equality and diversity at the Bar. Given that many of the ideas outlined intersect with our experience of working closely with the Bar, we are keen to engage with the BSB on behalf of the profession.

“As the profession’s representative body, the Bar Council is at the forefront of working with chambers and Inns of Court to establish good practice and provides a range of support mechanisms that help and encourage the Bar to go above and beyond the minimum requirements set by the BSB. These initiatives include an Equality & Diversity helpline which provides confidential advice to members of the profession about any equality and diversity, parental leave or harassment issue; ethical guidance and practical support; regular equality & diversity training; and an Equality & Diversity Officers’ (EDO) Network to encourage chambers to share experience and good practice.

“We look forward to discussing with the regulator what it can do further to enhance our work and increase awareness more widely of the initiatives, services and support that we offer to the profession.”

(Source: The Bar Council)

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