Equality, diversity and inclusion

Read the Bar Council’s Race Working Group's 2021 report addressing inequality at the Bar and proposing a series of recommendations for action.


The Bar Council is working to create a profession ‘representative of all and for all’. Activity involves identifying and seeking to address barriers and assumptions that inhibit the progression of those with a protected characteristic or those from a non-traditional background into and within the profession.

The Bar Council celebrates the diversity of the profession including active involvement in Pride, Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Mental Health awareness, improving the professions’ disability confidence with the help of our Disability Panel.   

Our current focus is:


 [Getting in]

 To widen access to   those from a non-   traditional     background

  1. Careers advice
  2. Mentoring
  3. Bar Placement Week
  4. Bar Mock Trials
  5. Pupillage (Recruitment) Fair
  6. Pupillage (Recruitment) Gateway

 [Staying in]

 To improve the   retention of   women and those   with a disability   (including   specifically mental   health)

  1. Research
  2. Mentoring
  3. Wellbeing at the Bar
  4. Training
  5. Best Practice policy guidance
  6. Equality Campaigns

 [Getting on]

 To support   progression of   under-represented   groups and   particularly of   women and ethnic   minorities

  1. Silk/Judicial mentoring
  2. Pre-application judicial education (PAJE)


We work with Diversity Networks across the Bar.


We provide confidential email and telephone advice to members of the profession, chambers’ staff, employed barristers, pupils and Bar students on any equality and diversity issue (including bullying and harassment).

For chambers, we also provide advice (guides and training) on:

  • Implementing all aspects of the Equality and Diversity Rules in the BSB Handbook;
  • Making reasonable adjustments and ensuring  chambers and services accessible to people with disabilities;
  • Handling complaints, supporting members and staff. 

Momentum Measures

Momentum Measures looks at data sets to establish when we might see gender and race parity

Snapshot: The Experience of self-employed women at the Bar

Insight into the experiences of self-employed women in the profession

Barristers Working Lives report 2021

The 2021 survey of barristers' working lives was designed to explore the lived experience of working as a barrister in 2021.

The Bar Council offers a confidential equality and diversity helpline to all pupils and members of the Bar. The direct line telephone number is 020 7611 1426.