Women at the Bar: exploring ways to promote gender equality

Following on from the Bar Standards Board 2016 ‘Women at the Bar’ survey report, the BSB has now published a second 2018 report aimed to explore and develop potential solutions to address two of the key issues identified by the 2016 research, namely:

  • Unfair treatment (issues around policies and practice in work allocation, flexible working, and returning from parental leave); and
  • Discrimination and harassment and the reporting of unfair treatment (issues around culture and attitudes).

This new report draws from the results of five workshops with over 50 attendees, including barristers, clerks, chambers’ directors, circuit leaders, specialist Bar associations, and Bar Professional Training Course providers. Workshop participants were invited to suggest potential solutions that might be taken forward by the BSB, or by others, to address some of the barriers to the retention and progression of women at the Bar. A series of recommendations arose from workshop discussions and can be grouped into following themes:

  • Expanding monitoring;
  • Improving transparency;
  • Introducing or improving policies;
  • Expanding equality and diversity training; and
  • Cultural change.

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