The diversity series—BAME diversity in the legal profession

The diversity series—BAME diversity in the legal profession

Diversity isn’t a new word or concept. If you look back throughout history, there are many famous examples of diversity shaping the world; from the mass migrations during the industrial revolution leading to a ‘melting pot’ of cultures across many countries, to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, in the present day it has become one of the biggest buzzwords. Whether it’s to do with gender, race, culture or something else, we all appear to be moving to a society that is aware of these differences and the barriers people may face if classed as a minority. These issues raised by diversity are most often discussed in terms of employment and the workplace. This has become especially prevalent in the legal profession, with a particular spotlight on the lack diversity within the sector.

As part of a series focusing on diversity in the legal profession, this article takes a deeper dive into the issues for black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals in the sector. This series can also be followed on our podcast channel Lex Chat, where we interview four legal professionals from diverse backgrounds to discuss their journey into the profession, the barriers they’ve faced and how they think the sector is adapting to diversity today.

When trying to address why diversity has risen to the top of legal firm’s priorities, I looked at the benefits of having a diversified legal sector. There were many, but to name a few:

  • links have been made between diversity and profitability—Mckinsey’s ‘Why diversity Matters’ in particular, outlined that businesses perform better financially with a more diverse workforce. McKinsey found that in 2014, ‘companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 15% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile’ and comparing this with data collected in 2017, this number rose to 21%—for ethnic and cultural diversity the numbers reflected the same with

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About the author:

Hannah is one of the Future of Law blog’s digital and technical editors. She graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in History and Politics and previously freelanced for News UK, before working as a senior news editor for LexisNexis.