Wednesday, July 18

Prestigious law firm – Females earned 30% less than male employees


For 2017, Herbert Smith Freehills reported that women employees earned on average 30 percent less in bonuses than male colleagues, and 19 percent less in average hourly salary.

Due to a recent UK regulation, companies with over 250 employees must submit gender pay gap data. Among the more than 500 companies that revealed their figures was the Silver Circle law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, demonstrating transparency, improvements, and shortcomings. HSF’s analysis is that the pay gap primarily exists because of the distribution of men and women within the firm, with different roles. For example, many women are in secretarial roles.

They also indicated that more women received bonuses than men. 77 percent of their female workers did, as opposed to 71 percent of males.

Since 2014, HSF has made progress on gender equality. By setting a target of having 30 percent women in their global partnership by 2019, with an interim target of 25 percent by 2017, they currently have 22.5 percent of their partners women. Although not fully reaching their goal, this came up from 17.5 percent, showing clear improvement. Most of their global practice groups and regions apparently hit the interim target. Specifically in their Business Services, their aim was that no gender would be more than 60 percent or fewer than 40 percent in the senior role. In 2017, they saw 54 percent of senior roles taken up by women.

Some of the efforts made by HSF include various networking opportunities and other resources to encourage and ensure women are recruited and retained. To read Herbert Smith Freehills full gender pay gap report, click here.

It has been reported, that overall in the UK, the gender pay gap has fallen to a low, but indeed that male MBA graduates receive bonuses even twice the size of their female colleagues. The HM Treasury Group’s 2016-2017 report demonstrated that men and women were not being paid differently for equal work, but that there were more women in junior grades and less representation at senior levels. 54 percent of the Civil Service Wide are women. The HM Treasury has brought in an external diversity expert, and has set out a plan to increase equality, such as through flexible working and having a graduate recruitment scheme.

Shocking high gender gaps were Easyjet with 51.7 percent lower, and Phase Eight with 64.8 percent lower pay differences. The British Museum had 0 percent and the armed forces 0.9 percent. Cambridgeshire Police, Unilever UK limited, and Evans Cycles had higher pay differences for women: 12.9, 8.8, and 6.5 percent respectively.

Unlike previously, the transparency of reporting gender equality data lends the public more of an understanding as to what is occurring and holds companies accountable. Action is still needed to be made, such as increasing representation of women at senior levels, which appears the justification of many firms’ pay difference.

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About Author

Nadine is a hybrid British-Egyptian, working to complete the International and European law bachelor, with a public international law and human rights specialisation, in The Hague. Her interests also lie in family law, alternative dispute methods, and transnational issues. She joined Legal Loop in August 2017.

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