DIVERSITY AT DOUGHTY STREET CHAMBERS
At Doughty Street Chambers, diversity is welcomed, celebrated, essential.
The purpose of this page is to ensure transparency in our diversity and inclusion policies.
We know we have more work to do and that securing a diverse workforce is a driver of excellence. We also know that diversity is not just a fad, nor is it a numbers game; our policies and culture all play a vital role in ensuring we build an inclusive environment where all of our people can grow and flourish.
To achieve this, DSC is taking a systematic approach, and bold action on diversity and inclusion. You can find some of the details of the actions we are taking on this page.
Spotlight on the UK Bar: Chambers & Partners Diversity & Inclusion Podcast
In May 2023 Chambers & Partners released their Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight Podcast with Doughty Street Chambers, following our win of the 'Diversity and Inclusion: Outstanding Set' award at the Chambers and Partners UK Bar Awards 2022. Luke Vincett spoke to our Aswini Weereratne KC and Maya Sikand KC who lead our Equality Diversity and Inclusion efforts here at chambers. Listen below:
Diversity at The Bar
Diversity, Inclusion, Equality and Wellbeing initiatives in Chambers
The Diversity Working Groups within Chambers work on initiatives that help to increase diversity among barristers and staff and are responsible for various streams of outreach work, content, and policy reviews. They each work hard to identify which groups are significantly underrepresented amongst DSC barristers and staff and to devise strategies to address this. In addition, Chambers has a group dedicated to monitoring the fair allocation of work amongst members and taking steps if any adverse trends are identified, and groups which work to increase inclusivity within DSC as a whole through a series of events and other initiatives. Chambers' Wellbeing Team works to build awareness of matters pertaining to, and the importance of wellbeing, organising various streams of internal activity, such as events, external signposting and policy reviews.
Positive Action Strategy
Doughty Street Chambers is fully committed to avoiding any unlawful positive discrimination but is also keen to maximise the opportunities the law currently permits in terms of taking positive action to address well-known and evidenced pre-existing inequalities. As such, a Positive Action Strategy for Chambers is being implemented to cover the breadth of operations from recruitment through to retention for staff, pupils, members, Associates and Academics.
The Bar’s Code of Conduct requires us to invite our workforce (barristers and staff) to provide diversity data about themselves. We are further required to publish an accurate and anonymised summary of that data, and we do so on this page of our website. See our diversity data report of June 2019 and June 2021. We are required to update this report at least every three years, although we aim to do so more frequently.
The survey is entirely voluntary and is conducted in such a way to guarantee the anonymity of those contributing. A large percentage of our workforce responded to the invitation to supply diversity data.
Chambers is committed to no all-male panels (“manels”) at Chambers-organised public conferences or events. Our members will not serve as panellists at a Chambers-organised public conferences or events when there are no women on the panel. For events that we organise or plan, we aim for at least 50% female speakers. Our preference is for women to be included as panellists, not only as chairs or moderators.
Wellbeing Certificate of Recognition
UK Bar Awards 2022 for Diversity and Inclusion
We are delighted to announce that Doughty Street Chambers was awarded the Diversity & Inclusion: Outstanding Set award at the Chambers & Partners UK Bar Awards 2022.
Our announcement is available here.
Aswini Weereratne KC and Maya Sikand KC spoke to Luke Vincett of Chambers and Partners UK in their Spotlight on the UK Bar series podcast. Listen here: https://bit.ly/3MGjkQo
UK Diversity Legal Awards 2021
Doughty Street's Anti-Racist Pledges
Our LGBT+ group Outy Street was formed in 2019 and is open to LGBT barristers, pupils and staff who wish to join. It supports LGBT+ people in Chambers and promotes LGBT+ rights externally. Its three aims are: to improve equality and diversity of Chambers with an emphasis on LGBT people; to provide a supportive community for LGBT members, pupils and staff; and to pool the legal advocacy across Chambers advancing the rights of LGBT people around the world.
Every year, Doughty Street hosts a day of celebration for International Women's Day. We bring together a diverse group of approximately 200 high-profile barristers, solicitors, judges, MPs, NGO workers, journalists, academics, activists and campaigners to discuss what more the law can do for women and girls.
In 2018, barristers at Doughty Street Chambers, the Doughty Street Women, set out to identify a greater diversity of remarkable women with historical connections in the local area, and to highlight the legacies of their achievements for public commemoration.
Announced on International Women’s Day in March 2018, the application for a blue plaque for Helena Normanton was filed by barrister Megan Hirst on behalf of the Doughty Street Women, and supported by the First 100 Years. Read more here.
Disability Confident Employer
Doughty Street are proud signatories of the Disability Confident scheme, supporting Chambers in its efforts to attract, recruit, retain and develop disabled individuals. Our aims are to:
- Ensure our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible.
- Communicate and promote vacancies.
- Offer interviews to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria.
- Anticipate and provide reasonable adjustments as required.
- Support staff and members who acquire a disability or long term health condition, enabling them to stay in work.
Neurodiversity in Law
Neurodiversity in Law work to improve access and retention within the Bar for those who are neurodivergent. As of March 2021, Doughty Street have partnered with Neurodiversity in Law, working with them to support the following aims:
- To make the application and recruitment process fair for neurodivergent candidates pursuing the Bar.
- To establish a community of neurodivergent individuals who are already in practice.
- To encourage other organisations to become neurodiverse.
Doughty Street are taking action to ensure our recruitment processes are neurodivergent-inclusive. Please look out for any events we run in partnership with Neurodiversity in Law on this page!
Contribution to Reports Legal