Pinsent Masons announces Partner pay gap

26 Mar 2018 | 10:24 am | 2 min. read

International law firm Pinsent Masons has today announced its gender pay gap figures with reference to its partners and is calling for the development of a common approach to the disclosure of partnership data in 2019.

The move follows concerns expressed by a number of individuals in business and government that, in following government guidelines which prohibit the inclusion of partner data in GPG reporting, partnerships have distorted the true nature of their gender pay gap. 

Pinsent Masons' statutory filing reflects a 22% median pay gap and 22% mean pay gap. The firm has a 40% median bonus gap and a 47% mean bonus gap.

Within the partnership the firm has a 22% mean GPG for partners and a median partner GPG of 38%. The firm has a 0% median and 11% mean bonus gender gap in favour of female partners.

When partners are included alongside employee numbers, Pinsent Masons has a median gender pay gap of 43%, a mean GPG of 58%, a median bonus gap of 50% and mean bonus gap of 52%.

Richard Foley, Senior Partner at Pinsent Masons, says:

"As a business, we pride ourselves on our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Since publishing our numbers we have become increasingly concerned by a perception that in following regulations designed to promote transparency partnerships have somehow avoided their responsibilities. 

Today we are publishing numbers which go beyond what is stipulated in government guidelines.

To be clear, we are confident that we pay male and female partners and employees equitably. Many factors influence remuneration, from the geographic spread of our people to the discipline in which they practise.

What these numbers do is affirm the long-recognised fact that not enough women are making it into senior positions within the legal profession. That is an issue we (and others) have worked hard on for the past five years. Today, 25% of our partnership is female compared to 17% five years ago. 4 out of 9 of our Board members are female, as are over 50% of our remuneration and partnership committee.  We know, though, that is not enough and we continue to pursue a bold strategy of change.

What has become clear in recent weeks is that public expectations go beyond what the regulations require, and that the regulations as currently drafted provide too much scope for an inconsistent approach to reporting by partnerships. Government guidance acknowledges that there is a difference between the status of partners and employees, and that there are consequent challenges in establishing a meaningful formula for understanding the pay gaps that exist within partnerships.

We hope that this voluntary disclosure will aid transparency, however to ensure that this is meaningful, we will be engaging with the Law Society and other City law firms to seek their support in making representations to Government to make changes. It cannot be right that partnerships have no common methodology and thus have to pick and choose what to report. Only by achieving consistency can we create a level playing field and secure the transparency expected of us by our people, our clients and the wider public. We will also be supporting the Institute of Public Policy Research on its ‘Closing the Gap’ report, to better understand the impact of the Regulations, how effective they have been, and how they might be amended to better drive change. We have noted various MPs engagement on this issue and will also be inviting them to help."

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