Hormones in the courtroom? Quitting of female barristers increases | Hudson McKenzie

Hormones in the courtroom? Quitting of female barristers increases

April 3, 2019 | Employment, Latest Thinking, News

Renowned barrister Lord Pannick QC has recently stated that there has been a recent surge of female barristers quitting the bar due to the “overdose of testosterone” of male barristers that is taking over the UK courts.

Pannick argues that due to the overbearing male dominance within the barrister profession, females are not only quitting but also being put off joining the Bar, in fear of facing harassment or bullying from their male counterparts.

One of the examples that Pannick puts forth is that of the ‘robing room’, in which has ultimately become the equivalent to a “changing room after a men’s rugby match” as quoted by Pannick, in which females feel overwhelmed by the testosterone of the male barristers present, ultimately impacting their work-life and overall wellbeing.

From this, Pannick suggests that the Bar Council should increase its transparency of the legal professional and urge female barristers to seek help when any feelings animosity towards their colleagues arises within situations which they may feel drowned by their overload of men within the profession.

In response, the Bar Council has stated that the ‘Equality and Diversity Committee’ has been set up with the initial intent of supporting anyone, specifically women, within situations in which they may feel that they are becoming disrupted in their working life upon the basis of their gender.

Therefore, despite accusations of male barristers acting as if they are on a ‘stag do’ towards their female colleagues, the Bar Council seeks to encourage female barristers to ask for support in any situation that they may feel they are being jeopardise within. By doing so, the UK Courts may see an increase of female employment as barristers, rather than the initial increase in quitting, as seen at present.

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