Our Equality and Diversity Committee is responsible for leading and monitoring our equality and diversity responsibilities, including the diversity of our workforce and our inclusive work culture. The work of this Committee made a simple truth clear to each of us, namely good practice in relation to all matters concerning equality and diversity is no more than best practice to create a successful and contented workforce. Chambers will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
There are people from many different religions, racial backgrounds and social backgrounds in Chambers, but it does not matter where our members and staff have come from or what their underlying beliefs are. What we need are their skills, experience and potential. Bringing together people with differing and complementary skills and experiences helps to ensure that we bring the best support and solutions to our clients and, in return, ensures that everyone feels included and respected. Our clients come from diverse backgrounds too, so it helps us better understand their own values.
We provide continuous training through both our Equality & Diversity Committee and our Pupillage Committee, including in-house training on fair recruitment and on unconscious bias. A most important issue in Chambers is making our profession more accessible and attractive to the best people from all backgrounds who have the potential to succeed but might not have the opportunity to get into law. We are working with a wider range of universities each year, but we only know if we are achieving this aim by monitoring. When people join us, they are asked to provide diversity-related information.
Maitland Chambers has also conducted a survey in accordance with the Bar Standards Board (BSB) Handbook and collected and published its equality and diversity data. The BSB rules aim to provide transparency concerning recruiting and employment activities and to encourage an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession.
The survey was completed anonymously and participation in it by the workforce was voluntary, in accordance with the BSB rules. Approximately 67% of the workforce took part in the survey either in full or to some extent. The data is based on responses actually received. Consequently, total numbers vary from category to category and may not reflect the position that would have applied had all those eligible to participate chosen to do so. Also, data is not published where it might reasonably lead to the identification of individuals.