The lord chief justice’s annual press conference is one of the most dignified events in the media calendar. From the majestic ritual of the opening question – posed, since time immemorial, by esteemed Gazette columnist Joshua Rozenberg – to the handshakes all round at the end, civility is the order of the day.
So when Gazette contributor Grania Langdon-Down asked Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd how long it might take for the judiciary to look more like the population as a whole, the lord chief justice was far too polite to throw the question back at his inquisitors. In the ranks of the press, Obiter counted nine men and three women. All ethnically white and speaking in what used to be called received pronunciation.
Meanwhile, Miranda Brawn, who works at an investment bank, last week provided a helpful lesson for law firms on how not to promote themselves. At an event to mark the Black Solicitors Network’s latest diversity league table report, Brawn recalled attending a medium-sized law firm’s summer party, dominated by white men. When she asked about diversity initiatives, a partner replied that all his junior employees were female, ‘so that’s gender done’.
‘After he finished his chat with me he realised that was not “gender done”,’ Brawn said.