Law Firm Reveals Ethnicity Data For The First Time
Irwin Mitchell has published its latest pay gap report which shows that for the third consecutive year the national law firm has narrowed its gap, which is significantly lower than the previous industry average.
Gender pay gap reporting was introduced by the government in 2017 and all companies with over 250 employees are required to report on their gender pay gap annually.
The report shows that the firm saw a decrease in its mean gender pay gap (the difference in average hourly pay for women compared to men) to 10.3% in 2019. This is lower than the 12.8% reported in 2018, when the firm had the 6th lowest pay gap across reporting law firms. Last year’s average gap in the Top 50 UK law firms was 19.5%.
The firm’s gender bonus gap also narrowed by 5.5% between the number of men and women receiving a bonus. Irwin Mitchell's mean gender bonus gap is 25.7%. This is lower than the 31.9% in 2018.
The bonus gap calculation differs from the pay gap calculation, as it is based on the number of colleagues who receive a bonus and the differing amounts paid. This means that the bonus gap is impacted by influencing factors including the fact that 91% of the firm's part-time colleagues are women and the fact bonuses are pro-rated against a full time salary.
In terms of gender diversity, 70% of Irwin Mitchell colleagues are female, while women make up 65% of regional managing partners and 42% of partners. In 2020, 63% of promotions to associate and senior associate at Irwin Mitchell were also women.
In 2019 77% of colleagues promoted to partner level were women. Irwin Mitchell has the highest percentage of female solicitors (65%) out of any other UK law firm and is in the top 10 for percentage of female partners.
For the third year running the team at Irwin Mitchell went above and beyond reporting requirements by publishing data on its partner pay gap. Going even further to help promote transparency and to supporting the diversity and inclusion agenda, for the first time, this year they also published ethnicity pay gap figures.
The firm’s ethnicity pay gap stands at -2.3% favourable to ethnic groups other than white British. This means there is little difference between the average hourly pay of white British colleagues and those from different ethnic groups.
The ethnicity pay data is based on the 78% who have reported their ethnicity, allowing the firm to report on a dataset of over 2,100 people.
Expert Opinion“Although our results are again positive, and show an overall improvement from last year, we recognise that there's still work to do and remain committed to improvement. Part of this includes the hard work taking place to ensure our people policies are developed to support the improvement in gender balance across the organisation.
We have an ambition to be a leading responsible business, and we demonstrate that by championing fairness, diversity, equality and inclusion. It was hugely pleasing to see that our colleagues recognised our efforts, with diversity being the highest scoring area in last year's Great Place to Work survey." Susana Berlevy - Chief People Officer
Irwin Mitchell has in recent years rolled out blind CV screening for certain roles, unconscious bias training and mental health and wellbeing courses. There are also several networking and support groups aimed at improving the business for people such as new parents, the LGBT+ community and women in law.