Gender inequality at the senior Bar

Gender inequality at the senior Bar

By Brie Stevens-Hoare QC 

On 12 March 2014 Lord Neuberger gave the Rainbow Lecture on Diversity. The lecture concluded with an explicit reference to the duty of all those involved in the legal profession and judiciary to improve the inclusiveness of the legal world.

Neuberger articulated the idea that the role of the legal profession and judiciary in society makes the achievement of comprehensive diversity in the sector particularly significant. Those in society who see themselves as under-represented or even absent from its key sectors are alienated. The legal professions are feeder professions for the judiciary. They and the judiciary are perceived as powerful in our society and key to the Rule of Law. If sections of society are alienated from those professions, confidence in and, to an extent, the legitimacy of the legal system and Rule of Law can be undermined.

Continued absence

At entry level to the legal profession there has now been a period of about 20 year

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