This morning, No5 publishes the results of the 2016 Diversity Data Survey, which ran from the 8th to the 22nd of March 2016.  Out of a total 344 eligible Members of Chambers (MoCs) and Staff, 234 responses were received (68%).  There were 173 responses from the 253 MoCs (68%), and 61 responses from the 91 Staff (67%).  This can be compared with a 25 % response rate from MoCs, and 49% response rate from Staff, with a total response rate of 28% in the last exercise in 2013.

The published results are restricted to those who gave informed consent to publish their data, in an anonymised form, even if there are fewer than 10 individuals identified against one or more of the characteristics (159 MoCs and 51 Staff provided informed consent for data to be published).  However, the current BSB rules effectively prohibit publication of our data on Sexual Orientation or Religion and belief, even of those who have provided explicit consent.

Noting the significance of the underlying rationale of the Survey, Mark Anderson KC, Head of Chambers, said:

“Our diversity profile is an important part of our commercial profile. It is essential that we reflect the marketplace in which we operate, and that we monitor the matter. This is now essential to our success in winning work from law firms and from commercial and governmental institutions. 

The data is also important for our recruitment policies. We do not reverse-discriminate in order to achieve diversity quotas, but the data enables us to identify any areas where our workforce – staff and mocs – does not reflect the society we seek to serve. Chambers must be a place where we can all work in a safe and meritocratic environment and where we can celebrate our diversity. We believe that to be the case”

Commenting on the results S Chelvan, Diversity Data Officer and Equality and Diversity Officer at No5 highlighted:

“The results provide evidence of social mobility at No5, with an equal number of MoCs who are the first generation to attend University, as those who are not – illustrating that we are engaging with the demands of the general public that we reflect those we represent.  I look forward to see how the results can be used to lead positive changes in our internal guidance, where needed, to ensure No5 is a place where diversity can thrive.”