UK : Women and black employed barristers ‘most likely to report bullying and discrimination’

The UK Law Soc Gazette reports

Women and black barristers working in a law firm, the Crown Prosecution Service or Government Legal Department are most likely to report that they have experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination at work, according to the Bar Council.

There are currently 3,106 employed barristers who make up a fifth of the whole bar. In a report exploring life at the employed bar, the Bar Council said 31% of employed barristers who responded to its 2021 working lives survey said they experienced bullying, discrimination or harassment. Asked who was responsible for the alleged discrimination, a quarter of respondents said another barrister, 19% said a manager and 16.1% said a judge.

‘Employed barristers who are women, identify as Black/Black British and who either work in a solicitors’ firm, the CPS or GLD are most likely to report having experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination,’ the report says.

Just over a quarter of women experienced bullying and harassment at work in person, compared with 10.2% of men; 22.9% of women experienced discrimination at work in person, compared with 6% of men.

The report says black employed barristers made up a disproportionate share of those who said they personally experienced discrimination in person at work as well as those who experienced bullying, harassment and discrimination while working online. A disproportionately high number of barristers in law firms said they had been bullied or harassed compared with their share of respondents in the survey.

CPS employees made up 19.2% of survey respondents but represented 24.3% of those who said they experienced bullying or harassment at work either in person or online, and 23.3% of those who said they observed bullying or harassment at work.

Read full report