SAHCA are committed to ensuring that the advocates it represents are reflective of the society that it serves. As such we have been engaging with key stake holders to identify the makeup of solicitor advocates. The figures do not show that solicitor advocates have the same consistency as the public they serve or the wider solicitors profession.
Solicitor advocates are currently 37% female, and 62% male, which is identical to the Bar and significantly lower than 48% who identify as female from the wider solicitor profession.
In respect to ethnicity, 70% of solicitor advocates identify as white, compared to the Bar where the figure is 79%.
In respect to identified disabilities, only 2% solicitor advocates report having a disability.
In respect to sexuality only 1% identify as being lesbian, gay or bi-sexual.
As such, in the next twelve months we intend to focus on encouraging female solicitors and other under-represented groups to obtain the higher rights qualification and ensure that there are no barriers to this. As part of our aim, we intend to ask our members to provide us with their diversity characteristics, and seek out other ideas to encourage those from under represented backgrounds to become advocates.
In order to ensure commitment to this aim, SAHCA have nominated the Vice Chair to be responsible for ensuring that we overcome the barriers and ensure that we are truly reflective of the society we serve.