23 September 2019

Women's experiences at the Bar – we want your views

We are conducting a survey into women's experiences of the equality rules of our Handbook to find out how effectively they are supporting the progression and retention of women at the Bar.

Currently almost 50% of people called to the Bar are women, but women are leaving the profession in disproportionate numbers. There is still a slow rate of progression as women make up 35% of the practising Bar, the same percentage as five years ago in 2010. This impacts the rate at which women become QCs and members of the judiciary as length of tenure is a predictive factor in promotion.

Women's representation at the Bar is a growing conversation in the profession and wider society. It's in the public interest that regulation encourages a diverse profession and contributes to the ongoing efforts to address gender inequality at the Bar for a fairer society.

We are committed to taking a risk-based approach to regulation to ensure our regulatory intervention is proportionate and based on evidence. To do this we need to find out more about how the equality rules and policies are put into practice at the Bar.

We are asking women of all backgrounds who are currently practising at the Bar to please complete our survey and help us understand your experiences and how policy is put into practice. Your perceptions and experiences will be used to inform future interventions to further support you in your career at the Bar.

The survey has been sent directly to all women practising at the Bar to complete. If any female practising barristers have not received it, or require it in an alternative format, they should email equality@barstandardsboard.org.uk. The survey closes on Monday 8 February at 9am.