The firm reported its gender pay gap data in line with reporting regulations and in time for the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2019.
The regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the differences in mean and median hourly rates of pay for male and female full-time employees, the gap in mean and median bonus pay for men and women, the proportions of male and female employees awarded bonus pay, and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.
Female employees at DLA Piper receive a mean hourly rate of £26.50, compared to £32.30 for male employees. In terms of median hourly pay, female staff earn £22.40 an hour, while men take home £26.60 an hour.
DLA Piper’s 2018 median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 15.8%.
The organisation’s mean gender pay gap for bonuses between 6 April 2017 and 5 April 2018 is 56.9%, with female staff achieving a mean bonus of £2,439, and male employees £5,656. Alternatively, the firm has a 0% median gender bonus gap; this is because a large proportion of its business services employees receive an equal, fixed end of year bonus. The median bonus for both men and women is £750.
Over the current reporting period, 57.8% of female staff received bonus payments, versus 55.5% of male staff.
Half (50%) of those in the highest pay quartile at DLA Piper are female, compared to 57% in the second quartile, 65% in the third quartile and 74% in the lowest pay quartile.
DLA Piper has also voluntarily reported its partner figures, despite this not being a statutory requirement. The mean gender pay gap for partners is 20.8% and the median is 26.7%. This is based on UK partner profit share and bonuses awarded under its 2017 partner remuneration review.
Analysis of the aforementioned review further revealed a 15.6% mean gender bonus gap, although the median gender bonus gap stands at 0%. Less than half (47.6%) of female partners received a bonus payment in the 2017 review, compared to 50.5% of male partners.
Less than a fifth (19%) of DLA Piper’s partners in the UK are female.
To address its gender pay gap, DLA Piper has been running international focus groups with employees to understand the actual and perceived barriers to career progression.
The law firm has rolled out unconscious bias training, embedding key lessons from this into its people strategy. It also promotes agile working, flexible work patterns and fee-earner job share arrangements, offers an employee-led resource group, called Leadership Alliance for Women (LAW), which focuses on the advancement of women and continually moderates its salary and bonus decisions.
DLA Piper is also enhancing its maternity and paternity leave policies; this will run alongside its existing coaching provision, which supports those taking a form of family leave. Coaching is also available for partners and managers, to help support the transition around maternity and paternity leave, as well as to facilitate a good return to work.
Liam Cowell, UK managing partner, said: “This year, we consulted with our people across the international firm to refresh our values, which have a culture of inclusion, support and collaboration at their core. Our strategy for embedding an inclusive environment continues to focus on our culture, including encouraging agility, challenging bias and supporting working parents as specific actions to address pipeline issues for female lawyers and business services professionals.
“The increase in the proportion of women in the upper quartile demonstrates that some of the actions we have been taking are having a positive impact. Additionally, we are already seeing a marked improvement in female representation at partner level. In the UK, the percentage of female partners increased from 18% to 19% in just a year.
“While our 2018 pay gap stands comparison with the largest 25 UK law firms, we recognise that we still have a long way to go to achieve gender balance and are continuing to drive change in this area through the consistent application of actions and initiatives.”