Her Bar was an initiative created off the back of a tumultuous year of three lockdowns and a global pandemic. This year proved difficult for the Bar especially, having been forced to close courts and move to virtual hearings and working from home. There were mounting pressures for Barristers including balancing of work and home life, especially for women with childcare responsibilities and these pressures only further highlighted the difficulties women in this profession uniquely face.
In the wake of the pandemic, however, we have also seen such tenacity and ingenuity with regards to support for women barristers. In May 2020, multiple women barristers wrote a letter requesting the judiciary to ‘issue guidance on how the significantly altered circumstances in which judges and legal practitioners are operating in the light of the Covid-19 crisis should be taken into account when organising court business and exercising case-management powers.
It was proposed, amongst other things, shorter hours for remote hearings and consideration of responsibilities for educating, feeding and caring for children and/or other family members when scheduling court business. Furthermore, we have seen an explosion of new blogs, podcasts and networking groups all with the aim of providing support and education for women barristers. And yet, there is no one platform that brings all of these new innovations together.
Her Bar is the simple concept that most barristers can’t believe doesn’t already exist.
It’s a bespoke comprehensive platform designed to follow and support the trajectory of a woman barrister’s career. We provide curated content, advice and resources in order to help support genuine issues women barristers continue to face including topics such as financial difficulties, work allocation, preparing for career breaks, harassment, menopause at work, and applying for silk. However, most importantly, Her Bar creates a community of women, who share the same profession and same issues and a space for them to ask and receive support and guidance. This is achieved through our built in ‘chat’ function when every member creates their own profile and can post questions and responses publicly. We also collaborate with networking initiatives advertising their events and contact information on Her Bar, so that they are easily accessible.
The success of Her Bar is really predicated on their core values and ethos. As a women-led company we have women’s issues at the forefront of our focus and a determination to achieve gender parity at the Bar, through opportunities, training and networks. Our 3 core values are as follows:
Collaboration not competition: Her Bar is built on the premise of women supporting each other. We actively seek to work with women-led companies and offer opportunities for women to progress in their careers either internally at Her Bar or working in partnership with us.
Charge fairly, pay fairly: too often women have difficulties charging their worth, be it for services provided or negotiation of salaries. At Her Bar, we strive to pay any suppliers and employees fairly, encouraging fair negotiation. Consequently, we charge in line with our own worth, valuing the time, effort and skill that goes into our platform.
Innovative practice: Her Bar is dedicated to intuitively using technology and design in order to create a user-friendly, stylish platform which is accessible for all women barristers – no matter the year of call. Innovation is prioritised in order to reduce our carbon footprint and work sustainably.
We have poured our heart and soul into this website, creating original content and educated guidance based on the research we’ve carried out with some trusted sources at the Bar. But we’re always looking for ways to improve and expand Her Bar and welcome any user to contact us be it to propose a new collaboration or provide inspiration for further content. After all, our mission is for Her Bar to be entirely curated by women barristers for women barristers.
So, welcome to Her Bar and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we do…