Chambers UK and Chambers UK Bar Guides 2022 D&I Statement
Read the Chambers Diversity and Inclusion statement for the 2022 editions of the Chambers UK and Chambers UK Bar guides.
Diversity across the new Chambers UK guides for 2022
The 2022 releases of Chambers UK Guides have continued their evolution in line with client demands, technology and sector developments. The 2022 Guides provide more detailed insights on leading law firms and lawyers than ever before, with new ranking tables and more detailed regional coverage.
These developments have included a continued focus on diversity and inclusion. While the Covid-19 pandemic and its lasting impact has dominated the news, firms and sets have been doubling down on commitments to inclusion and expanding the scope of their diversity initiatives, often in close collaboration with clients.
Accordingly, we have continued asking questions relating to diversity and inclusion in the research process and requesting an even gender-split of lawyer interviews and client referees. As a consequence of this positive action taken by our editorial, D&I and leadership teams, the headline figure shows that the percentage of individual rankings held by women in the 2022 Solicitors Guide stands at 34%, a 2% increase from 2021. Similarly, the total number of women ranked in the UK Bar Guide grew to 27%, a 1% year-on-year increase. However, the total number of women ranked in the UK Bar Guide rose from 1,969 to 2,254, a 15% increase.
Continuing to drive the need and importance of diversity across the UK legal market
While these gender balance increases remain lower than hoped, there is clear evidence that our focus on diversity is having an outsized impact compared to the market. In order to track the specific impact of our research methodology developments in the Solicitors Guide, we monitored the gender split of interview requests compared to actual interviews conducted. This showed that women lost four percentage points in interviews requested compared to conducted, while men gained 18 percentage points. In working to increase the gender balance of the rankings of both guides, we want to encourage firms and sets to work closely with us by providing a diversity of perspectives to continually produce better research.
There were more encouraging signs for the future in the Bar Guide with the number of â€˜Up and Comingâ€™ rankings geld by women growing from 69 to 114, meaning that women now hold the majority of those rankings for the first time. This was mirrored in the Solicitors Guide where the number of â€˜Associates to Watchâ€™ who are women growing to 63% from 57% last year. It wasnâ€™t just the more junior rankings that saw progress though â€“ the total number of women with star rankings increased by 25% and band 1 rankings increased by 17%.
The results have beenÂ positiveÂ but we know there remains a long way to go to ensure our rankings are reflective of the diversity of the profession. We will continue to work with our D&I teamÂ and the marketÂ to make progress and expand the network of firms and sets we consider. We look forward to celebrating the success of diverse barristers and sets driving inclusion at the upcoming UK Bar Awards 2021,Â which has three D&I-specific awards.Â
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