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Linklaters becomes first magic circle firm to reveal gender pay gap stats

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Structure of workforce lies behind 39% figure

Linklaters is now the first magic circle outfit to release its gender pay report, revealing a 23% disparity in mean hourly pay. However, the difference between median money is wider — 39%.

In the report, the elite firm says it’s “confident” it pays men and women fairly for equal roles — so why the notable gender pay gap?

Image credit: Linklaters

It is explained by Linklaters’ workforce structure, the firm argues; women are overrepresented in the firm’s lower pay quartile and underrepresented in the firm’s upper pay quartile. (This tends to be the same across City firms.)

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The magic circler — which has a goal of 30% new female partner appointments each year — explains:

“The roles that sit within this lower quartile are predominantly secretarial and junior business team positions, and around 80% of these roles are 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.”

Under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017, big businesses are also obliged to provide bonus pay data.

Image credit: Linklaters

Interestingly, the firm actually pays a slightly higher proportion of its women a bonus payment (78%) than men (76%). However, the difference between the level of men and women’s median bonuses is 62%, or 58% when you consider mean bonuses.

These percentages are stark but, as the firm explains, many more women work part-time at Links than men. The bonus figures released are calculated on actual amounts paid rather than on a full-time equivalent basis.

As the spring deadline for reporting approaches, Linklaters is one of a number of firms to releases its pay stats.

We’ve learnt Herbert Smith Freehills, for example, pays its female staff an hourly median rate which is 39% less than its male staff. Median female pay is 33% lower than male pay at CMS and 13% at Shoosmiths. Like with Links, the distribution of roles at these firms has a big impact on the figures.

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21 Comments

Anonymous

Nothing to see here at all…

Slow news day KK?

Anonymous

Unsurpisingly the gender pay gap is particularly striking when you look at a bonuses. Given that a bonus is discretionary and determined by the partners, it allows bias (hopefully unconscious) against women to creep in.

Anonymous

Clearly men are being discriminated against in this instance though

Anonymous

People still believe the gender pay gap exists?

Just Anonymous

Oh it certainly exists.

The point is that there is no evidence it exists because of sexist discrimination – as opposed to men and women, on average, making different life choices.

I’m willing to change my mind on this. And I absolutely condemn sexism and discrimination where it actually exists. However, this basic point has been made for a long time now (see, for example, Jordan Peterson’s recent infamous interview on Channel 4) and it’s becoming increasingly obvious that those obsessed with the gender pay gap don’t have an answer to it.

Anonymous

Can I stop feeling guilty for being born a man yet?

KK

NEVER!

Anonymous

*cough* Diversity Cheek *cough*

Anonymous

This doesn’t include partner earnings, right?

Anonymous

A lot of non-fee earning roles are very gendered: you don’t get many female security staff, print room or post room workers, I’ve never met a male legal secretary. BD, HR and PSLs are also typically female-dominated. The result is that the support roles skew female, which is going to explain some of the pay gap as fee earners typically earn more.

But it won’t explain it all. Most trainees at City firms are women (that was also the case for me when I started my training contract the best part of a decade ago). Most NQs at City firms are also women (again, that was what I saw back when I qualifed). But now, I look around and I don’t see as many women at my level (senior associate) as I do men. Over the years, the rate of leaving private practice was slightly higher for women than it was for men (a lot, maybe most, of the men I trained with have also left private practice in the City). There’s clearly a correlation and I don’t believe that it reflects suitability for the job (meaning that firms are losing good people).

The reason for the higher drop-out rate can’t be all babies btw: the gender ratio started to flip long before most people even think about having a kid.

Anonymous

I wonder how much pay you receive depends on how well you negotiate. Do you think this has any significant impact if any at all?

Anonymous

Linklaters pays associates on lockstep so no.

Westcott

No. Gender Wage gaps stems from qualifications(STEM vs Arts, overwhelmingly male), Hours worked, fields you go into e.g A GP vs a Surgeon, Conveyance vs Trial Lawyer etc. and results(Which are correlated with the first three, not down to gender.)
If a woman decides to be a Biochemist and puts in the same hours as a man, she will be equally or more successful. Hours worked are not down to work ethic. If the woman takes off nine months for maternity leave, her pay(and promotion) is now nine months behind a man’s.
This also debunks ‘well, maybe men are better.’ As Dr. Christina Sommers summed it up, it’s down to choices, not ability nor discrimination.

To simply compare the wages of men vs woman is fallacious.
Dr Claudia Goldin, economics professor at Harvard University debunks the wage gap for the millionth time.
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/harvard-prof-takes-down-gender-wage-gap-myth/article/2580405

Anonymous

Stupid old women, stop being secretaries and become law firm partners

Stupid Old Woman

Sorry, I can’t, I’m too under qualified an ill educated.

Westcott

Yet susceptible to trolls and irony.

Anonymous

Does anyone know if the drop rate for the Tusks of Mannoroth has been increased?

Gorbosh Smellcream

I just snorted audibly.

Westcott

The Gender Wage Gap. Debunked more times than Flat Earth ‘theory’.

Anonymous

Jordan Petersen

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