The Next 100 Years: Women at the Bar

The Next 100 official

How do we want to shape the Bar for the next 100 years?

Since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which first allowed women to practise as lawyers, progress on gender equality has been made, but there is still a way to go. In 2019, the Bar Council announced its drive to mark the centenary of by generating meaningful discussion and highlighting positive initiatives that are shaping the future for women at the Bar - the 'next 100 years'.

As we celebrate the First 100 Years across the profession, it is crucial to look forward and take account of the specific obstacles faced by women practising at the Bar - particularly the self-employed Bar, and at the senior levels of the profession. Evidence shows that while there is an almost equal split of male and female pupils studying to be barristers, the Bar struggles with retention of women around 10-14 years' Call, and progression, which is reflected by the fact that as of December 2017, only 14 per cent of QCs are women. 

During the year, the Bar Council will also be seeking to celebrate today's success stories and positive intiatives across the Bar to inspire and encourage women to pursue a career as a barrister and to reach the highest echelons of the legal world. We very much welcome contributions and input from across the Bar on all of this.