The Bar Standards Board (BSB) Race Equality Taskforce has today launched a pilot reverse mentoring scheme, in which Bar students and pupil barristers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds will mentor senior barristers from White backgrounds.
The scheme, which is designed to provide an insight into people’s experiences of racism by pairing individuals who might not otherwise come together, aims to address barriers to race equality and foster a more inclusive culture at the Bar.
The first pairing will be between Elisha Lindsay, a Black female Bar student and race equality activist, and her mentee, Paul Stanley QC of Essex Court Chambers.
The scheme has been developed by the BSB’s Race Equality Taskforce, a group of BAME and White barristers, which advises the BSB on the development of strategy, policy and activity to improve race equality in the profession.
Speaking about her involvement in the scheme as its first mentor, Elisha said: “Initiating a programme that brings together the concept of diversity in a tangible and practical way is something I never thought would be achievable. Seeing how receptive members of the Bar are to hearing and learning about anti-racist practices and achieving true diversity within the Bar gives me hope for a more inclusive environment”.
As the Scheme’s first mentee, Paul said “It is a privilege to be able to be involved in this ground-breaking initiative. Being mentored by Elisha gives me a golden opportunity to learn from her experience and insight, and to challenge my own preconceptions and prejudices. I know it will make me a better anti-racist ally, and help me to change myself and the profession for the better.”
BSB Head of Equality and Access to Justice and Chair of the Taskforce, Amit Popat, said: “This is the first race equality reverse mentoring scheme launched at the Bar. It presents a new and innovative approach to promoting inclusion, which we believe will benefit both established and aspiring barristers, while making a meaningful cultural change. To all BAME Bar students and senior barristers from White backgrounds who wish to practically support an anti-racist agenda, I would strongly encourage you to sign up”.
The Taskforce is now seeking volunteers to take part in the scheme. More information, including details about how to apply, is available on the BSB website.
Notes to editors
About the Bar Standards Board
Our mission is to regulate barristers and specialised legal services businesses in England and Wales in the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t
About the Race Equality Taskforce
The BSB Race Equality Taskforce was formed in June 2019. It supports the BSB’s delivery of its statutory objectives by advising on the development of strategy, policy and activity to improve race equality in the profession. Its members are: Amit Popat (Chair), Mark Neale, Ben Burns, Dr Leslie Thomas QC, Paul Stanley QC, Marcia Shekerdemian QC, Sara Ibrahim and Laurie-Anne Power.
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