Pinsent Masons reports a 22.4% mean gender pay gap

Pinsent Masons

International law firm Pinsent Masons has reported a 22.4% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay.

The organisation has reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2018. Its data reflects the law firm’s employees across England and Scotland, and does not include data on its partners’ pay and bonuses.

The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were 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.

Pinsent Masons’ median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 22.4% as at 1 April 2017.

Its mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 1 April 2017 is 47.4%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 40%. Over this period, 35.8% of female employees received a bonus payment compared to 33.9% of male employees.

More than half (approximately 54%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Pinsent Masons are female, compared to approximately 62% in the second quartile, around 77% in the third quartile and approximately 73% in the lowest pay quartile.

To address its gender pay gap, Pinsent Masons has compiled a set of priorities for the next three years. This includes investigating whether the structure of its bonus schemes is contributing to the gender bonus gap, encouraging a better gender balance in the recruitment of legal personal assistants and junior business operations roles, making career development and promotion processes more transparent, and communicating the firm’s mentoring programmes more widely, such as its reciprocal mentoring initiative and its Great Minds mentoring programme, which are available for both men and women.

Over the next three years, Pinsent Masons will also develop the next phase of its inclusive behaviour training, roll out agile working more widely across the business, encourage open and honest conversations between employees and line managers to aid skill and career development, and ensure that the organisation has visible male and female role models. The law firm will also look more closely at the issue of gender diversity within its business operations teams and focus on the benefits of gender balance for both men and women. This would include, for example, encouraging men to take-up shared parental leave, which mirrors the organisation’s enhanced maternity policy.

These initiatives will build on existing measures that Pinsent Masons has implemented over the last five years. These include requesting gender balanced shortlists for external hires, developing a more proactive approach to career paths, placing more emphasis on flexible and agile working, and the introduction of online and coaching support for male and female employees who take parental leave. It now tracks practice group talent pipelines more systematically to ensure gender balanced promotion shortlists, and has established a nominations committee to provide a transparent approach to senior appointments.

Over the past five years Pinsent Masons has also changed its approach to bonuses to reward performance rather than matter-related hours targets, and introduced inclusive behaviour training to tackle unconscious bias.

Richard Foley, senior partner at Pinsent Masons, said: “While we compare favourably with our sector overall, our gender pay gap emphasises the importance of our programme to remove any unintentional hindrances to progression.

“The firm is committed to ensuring that all roles in our business are accessible to those with the skills and experience who wish to work there regardless of gender, and we will continue to take steps to encourage all our people to reach the highest level to which they aspire.

“We believe in creating a level playing field where everybody has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”