England: Bar watchdog to tackle discrimination against women barristers

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has announced how it intends to work with the profession to eliminate unfair treatment of women barristers.

This will include: reviewing how the BSB’s approach to supervision and enforcement can take account of equality and diversity best practice; measuring the overall effectiveness of the Equality Rules in the BSB Handbook and considering whether these need to be improved or updated.

The BSB’s director of strategy and policy, Ewen MacLeod, said: “We are determined to work towards eliminating all forms of harassment, discrimination and unfair treatment.

“These proposals seek to focus on the unfair treatment of women barristers and to improve the retention and progress of women at the bar. Our research has been very valuable in enabling us to formulate the action plan for our future work. We would like to thank the many participants who came to our workshops and contributed to our plans.

“It is clear that the profession needs to continue to work together to address these issues, ensure more wide-spread compliance with our Equality Rules, learn from the examples of good practice that exist at the Bar, and to focus on delivering practical and workable solutions. We will continue to work with the profession and with the Bar Council, who share our objective, to improve the position of women at the bar.”