Updating your diversity details
22 June 2023
We are committed to promoting and developing a diverse legal sector. Making sure that we have the most up-to-date information about those working within the profession is key to doing this effectively.
To help us do this we are asking all solicitors and others with a mySRA account to check and update their diversity information. Things can change, so please check your record, even if you have provided this information in the past.
You may have provided this information to your employer if you work in a law firm. The data collected by your firm is reported to us every two years in an aggregated way, so we cannot use this information to populate your personal records for more detailed monitoring or reporting.
How to update your details
To update and edit your diversity information, first log in to mySRA:
- Go to 'My profile'.
- Select the 'Equality and diversity' tab.
- Click 'Edit' at the bottom of the page.
- Once you have updated the information click 'Save'.
Please complete the whole section, all the questions include a 'prefer not to say' option. The information you provide is confidential. It cannot be seen by your employer, even if you're opted in for them to manage your personal information.
This means you are responsible for personally updating this information even if your employer manages other elements of your mySRA account, such as your practising certificate renewal.
The information is held confidentially at the SRA and restricted to a small group of staff who use the data for monitoring or reporting purposes.
Why we collect this information
We have a public sector duty under the Equality Act 2010 and a regulatory objective to encourage 'an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession' from the Legal Services Act 2007.
Having access to accurate and comprehensive diversity information helps us meet these objectives. A good understanding of the profile of those working in the profession means we can work more effectively to promote diversity and inclusion and monitor the impact of our initiatives.
It also supports our work in monitoring how our education, authorisation and enforcement activities affect different people.
How we use the information
We may use this information in the following ways:
- To inform our publications or engagement with people as part of our work to promote diversity in the profession.
- In our regulatory reform work to help us monitor the diversity impact of the changes we make.
- To help us meet our public sector equality duty, for example, monitoring our decision making by protected characteristics.
- To facilitate research and analysis by others.
- To meet reporting requirements to the Legal Services Board or the Ministry of Justice.
We make sure that no-one can be identified from any data that we publish or share with others. We will not share your personal information with external organisations. Read more about privacy, data and information at the SRA
About the diversity questions
For some of the questions you can select 'Other' if the available options do not cover you. Pending an update to our system, we are not currently able to provide a free text box for you to complete.
How did you decide on the wording of your questions about sex and gender identity?
We collect information about sex using the question 'What is your sex?' and provide options to answer 'male, female, other preferred description' and 'prefer not to say'. We do not require people to answer this question in accordance with their legal sex.
We based this decision on research undertaken by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in preparation for the 2021 Census and after listening to a range of voices on the matter. We appreciate there are many strongly held views on these issues. We understand why the ONS uses a binary sex question which requires people to select make of female as per their legal documents. We felt a more inclusive approach was appropriate for us.
We collect information about gender identity using the question 'Is the gender you identify with the same as your sex registered at birth?' and provide the options to answer 'yes', 'no' and 'prefer not to say'. We have aligned the gender identity question with the wording used in the 2021 Census.
How do you determine socio-economic background from the questions you ask?'
We ask three questions (under the section titled Education) which align with the approach recommended by the Social Mobility Commission. Research by the Commission and others, shows that the most accurate indicator of a person's socio-economic background, is the occupation of their main household earner at age 14. The Commission has brought together a range of occupations to select from, which may not cover everyone, but please choose the occupation which is most accurate or select 'Other'. Adopting this approach allows us to measure the data against consistent national benchmarks.