In Early February 2019. The Bar Standards Board (BSB) published its annual report on diversity at the Bar which showed that progress was made in 2018 in regards to diversity at the Bar, and to the disclosure rates of barristers providing data.
The percentage of women at the Bar increased by 0.4% last year, but at 62% men still outnumber women within the profession. The percentage of female QCs increased from 14.8% in December 2017 to 15.8% in December 2018.
BAME practising barristers increased 0.3%. 13% of the Bar is now BAME with 7.8% of QCs being BAME (an increase of 0.6%).
As the regulator of barristers in England and Wales, the BSB has a statutory responsibility to monitor and promote equality and diversity at the Bar. They admit that although there is slow progress, there is also considerable scope for improvement.
Director of strategy and policy Ewen MacLeod said: “The more accessible the Bar is, the better it is able to represent the society it serves. Equality and diversity are priorities for us as a regulator and the data show that there was a steady improvement in gender and ethnic diversity at the Bar during 2018. But we are aware that more needs to be done. We urge all barristers to complete the diversity data questions when renewing their practising certificates for the year ahead. This will enable us to act on accurate evidence to improve diversity.”
You can read the full report here.