Linklaters has beaten an April deadline in the UK to become the first of the Magic Circle firms to reveal its 2017 gender pay gap statistics.
The firm’s gender pay report for 2017 was made to comply with the UK’s Equality Act, which requires all organisations that employ 250 or more people to release gender pay gap information.
While more women (78.4%) earned bonuses than men (75.9%) in the 12 months to April 2017, the men who received bonuses on average earned 57.9% more. Using the median, men earned 62.1% more in terms of bonuses.
For hourly pay, men on average earned 23.2% more than women. Comparing by median, men received 39.1% more in hourly pay.
Those statistics do not paint a complete picture, however, as the report also broke down the composition of the firm’s people into four earning quartiles.
“We are confident that we pay men and women fairly for equivalent roles, and are pleased that the gender pay gap for each of our four pay quartiles is small,” the firm said. “Whilst we still have some way to go, the gender balance in our upper, upper middle and lower middle pay quartiles is encouraging evidence that our efforts over recent years to attract and retain women in more senior roles have begun to pay off.”
In the lower quartile, women (79.2%) outnumbered men (20.8%) and earned 5.96% more.
The firm acknowledged that there is more significant gender imbalance within its lower quartiles, which are predominantly made up of secretarial and junior business team positions, which are 80% held by women.
“Whilst these roles are competitively rewarded with reference to the market, the fact that so many of them are held by women has the effect of reducing the average pay of women in our firm, impacting our overall gender pay gap,” the firm said.
That fact also contributes to its bonus disparity, since the bonus potential for secretarial and junior business roles is generally lower than for the firm’s legal and senior business roles.
The lower-middle quartile was also dominated by women, who made up 55.9% of the group as opposed to the 44.1% of men. The pay gap in this group was 1.12% in favour of men.
Women (53.9%) still outnumbered men (46.1%) in the upper-middle quartile. They, however, earned 0.22% less than their male counterparts.
In the upper quartile, there were more men (55.1%) than women (44.9%). Men also earned more, with a gender pay gap of 6.5% in favour of them.
The firm said that the data has also been influenced by the fact that an increasing number of its women employees have opted to work on a part-time basis, outnumbering male counterparts who have chosen the option. The UK government has told organisations to pay bonuses based on actual amounts paid, rather than on a full-time equivalent basis.
The firm said that “ensuring gender equality and achieving gender balance is a global strategic priority for us. It is embedded in our strategy and reinforced by our gender targets. It is critical to the long-term success and sustainability of our business that we recruit, retain and promote exceptional talent. In order for us to achieve that, it is necessary that we remove any barriers that may prevent people from diverse backgrounds from realising their potential at Linklaters.”
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