DCA drive pays off with diverse judiciary

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) diversity drive is paying off with black and ethnic minority appointments to the judiciary shooting up 60 per cent last year.

The DCA diversity report reveals black and minority ethnic appointments rose from 30 new judges in 2005 to 48 last year.

The number of women appointed to the judiciary has almost doubled in the last eight years. The proportion of female judges has risen from 24 per cent to 41 per cent since 1999, with 137 out of 337 appointments last year being women.

Vera Baird, the equalities minister at the DCA, however, said that the findings show continuing progress towards a more diverse judiciary.

“Increasing the diversity in the judiciary remains a key priority by working with the Judicial Appointments Commission and Judiciary, I hope to see even further improvements next year,” added Baird.

The news comes as a study commissioned by PricewaterhouseCooper shows that the number of women moving into senior management positions in the 350 biggest companies listed on the stock market shows a dramatic fall in the last five years.

This report puts this down to increasing cost of childcare being among the factors for the 40 per cent fall in women holding senior management positions.

For female judges, however, the average age at time of appointment is 50-years-old, so this is less of a factor for inreasing diversity in the judiciary.