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Allen & Overy kicks off pay gap reporting season

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Magic circle outfit reveals a partner inclusive gender result of 59.9%

Allen & Overy (A&O) has fired the starting pistol on a fresh round of pay gap reporting, revealing slight improvements in both its gender and ethnicity pay gaps.

Combining total annual pay for all UK-based partners and employees together, the magic circle player’s 2020 mean gender pay gap comes out at 59.9%. Its median is 46.4%. A&O’s 2019 gap stood at 61.5% and 43.8% respectively.

Taking its high-earning partners out of the equation, the mean gender gap in London drops to 16.1%.

A&O said its overall gender pay gap was more pronounced because of the higher proportion of men than women in its partnership, as well as the higher number of men in the most senior partner positions.

It also revealed black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) partners and employees are paid, on average, 22.4% less than their white colleagues — down from 23.1% last year.

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A&O also published data relating to disability for the first time, with the overall disability pay gap coming in at 20.2%. These figures are based on the 74% of staff in the UK who have recorded their disability information — with 3% identifying as having a disability.

Sasha Hardman, A&O’s global HR director, commented: “The overall picture from this report is one of progress and that our initiatives are having a real impact, with a broad trend of our pay gaps moving in the right direction. We believe that transparency about our actions, challenges and progress is central to achieving a balanced and diverse workforce. This is why we have included key points from our action plans across the different areas the report covers, which show how we are tackling the underlying reasons that pay gaps exist. We have also extended the report to cover disability.”

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25 Comments

Anonymous

Misleading to refer to it as a ‘gender pay gap.

(15)(6)

Anon

How is it misleading? There is a stark difference between what a female partner earns and what a male partner earns. It shows how patriarchal and discriminatory our society is, even in 2020, and there is no excuse for it.

The quotas for female partner promotions, which have been around for awhile now, simply aren’t enough. There must also be quotas for female partner earnings (e.g. 40% of all drawings should be paid to female partners).

(4)(23)

Anon

But the figures don’t compare senior male partners earnings with those of senior female partners. That is why they are misleading. There shouldn’t be gender quotas for partners or their earnings both should be based on merit.

(3)(2)

Anon

What your point? The figures compare the average female partner with the average male partner. If your point is that there are so few senior female partners that the average is skewed in mens’ favour, this is yet another example of the patriarchy. There’s no reason (other than discrimination) why women should be any less likely than a man to remain at a top law firm long enough to reach the top.

(4)(8)

Anon

Oh, you’ve misunderstood the figures, which is unsurprising given how misleading they are. The figures compare averages, not number of partners. So you could have a firm with 10 senior male partners all on $500k, and 1 senior female partner earning $1mm and the gender pay gap would be in favour of women. How sexist it is to have more senior male partners doesn’t come into it.

There are many reasons why women might leave a law firm earlier than men, and discrimination is only one. Until this is acknowledged, women are likely to continue to leave at a higher rate than men. By your argument, any law firm with more male than female partners must be discriminating against women. And it follows, any with more female partners must be discriminating against men.

Realist

Correct. The gender pay gap is nonsense. It is a made-up figure for those craving victimhood. Kate Andrews, Economics Correspondent at The Spectator, has written on it extensively, with considerably more analytical rigour than this article – which isn’t hard. For example:

“Would we condone teaching a child that 1+1 = 3, for the sake of increasing her interest in maths? No. Would we praise flat earth theorists for getting people talking about the health of the planet? No. So why are we giving credence to meaningless and often deceptive gender pay gap statistics, which have us focusing on women’s issues in a way that is damaging to women? With Brexit-mania dominating our national debate, you may have missed that today is the deadline for large organisations to report their gender pay gap data.

Now into the second year of reporting, it has become increasingly clear that the influx of data from the gender pay gap reporting measures fails to provide any meaningful insight into fair pay for men and women in the workplace. …The measures don’t even distinguish between full-time and part-time workers, which makes a huge difference to results.

To highlight just how bad the reported data is, look at the accusations made against the National Health Service and its alleged gender pay gap. The public body has been flagged for its 23 per cent gender pay gap – a gap that increases to 33 per cent when just looking at GPs. But the majority of NHS professionals are on a national pay scale, almost completely removing questions of gender discrimination in wages, as they are not subjectively set by managers, but instead set irrespective of circumstance by the state.

Pay differences in the NHS are not about gendered pay gaps, but rather the number of hours worked by employees. Indeed, over 50 per cent of GPs are women, and they are more likely to work part-time. This is not rocket science, nor is it a conspiracy theory. It’s fairly simple stuff when the data is presented accurately. Unfortunately, the current legislation is not rooted in reason.”

Source: The problem with the gender pay gap obsession, Spectator, 4 April 2019, https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-problem-with-the-gender-pay-gap-obsession

Also see:

Stop unfairly demonising firms that have large gender pay gaps, City AM, 5 April 2019, https://www.cityam.com/stop-unfairly-demonising-firms-have-large-gender-pay-gaps

The Gender Pay Gap Reporting Measures: 2019 Update, IEA, 4 April 2019, https://iea.org.uk/publications/the-gender-pay-gap-reporting-measures-2019-update

Politically Incorrect Paper of the Day: The Persistence of Pay Inequality
by Alex Tabarrok, October 8, 2020 at 7:25 am
https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/10/politically-incorrect-paper-of-the-day-the-persistence-of-pay-inequality.html (extract: Gender wage gaps appear even in markets where workplace discrimination is impossible or unlikely. Uber driver’s for example are assigned trips using a gender-blind algorithm and earn according to a known formula based on time and distance of trip. Yet, a small but persistent gender gap of about 7% exists (https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/02/uber-pay-gap.html) which appears to be due mostly to the fact that male drivers drive a little bit faster, choose to work in more congested areas, and have a bit more experience. Litman et al. (2020) (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0229383) show that the same kind of difference also show up in earnings on Mechanical Turk…)

(5)(6)

Anon

Someone has too much time on their hands. I hope you’re not billing anyone for this.

(5)(3)

Anon

Likewise. I found Realist’s comment very insightful.

(0)(2)

Reality

The pay gap which exists on account of differences in hours worked, occupations chosen, education and job experience.

(13)(13)

Lol

You ever wonder why women might make the decisions they do? Can’t have anything to do with sexism in the profession or a life time of being discouraged from certain roles. No chance of that clearly…

(16)(25)

Anon

Calling out misleading figures isn’t sexist. Its sexist to suggest that its sexist to do so.

(5)(4)

lol

Ah yes, a figure which only shows a difference in pay between men and women is “misleading” because it doesn’t have a footnote containing the entirety of gender discourse needed to give it context. My mistake.

(11)(18)

Anon

No, your mistake was being misled into thinking the fact that people doing different jobs earn different amounts is sexist purely because its labelled the ‘gender pay gap’.

curious

Does anyone know how much money would an A&O newly promoted partner (about 10 years after training contract) make?

(1)(3)

Dr Fran K

Why, are you planning to marry one?

(21)(0)

AO

Just under £1m gross at base lockstep.

(7)(2)

Reality

Troll somwhere else. Newly promoted junior partners dont make that much. Hardly even 500k. Look at the question, it reads someone after 10 years of training. It doesn’t fall at all in the range of 500k plus.

(6)(3)

AO

That is the starting equity partnership in the MC. Not talking about salaried partnership. In exceptional circumstances someone can make partner 7-8 years PQE

(4)(3)

Tellmeplz

How much do you think is the salaried partnership? An average salary partner at MC earns around 250k-300k, right?

Just Anonymous

Thank you for these utterly meaningless figures, that tell us nothing of any real value or importance at all.

(5)(3)

Jarrod

My reading and key take away point from the article is that BAME partners and employees are paid 22.4% less than their white colleagues (when comparing like for like roles and seniority with the only difference for the purpose of the comparison being skin colour).

How is that meaningless?

(1)(3)

Anon

Oh, you’ve misunderstood the figures, which is unsurprising given how misleading they are. The figures compare averages, not number of partners. So you could have a firm with 10 senior male partners all on $500k, and 1 senior female partner earning $1mm and the gender pay gap would be in favour of women. How sexist it is to have more senior male partners doesn’t come into it.

There are many reasons why women might leave a law firm earlier than men, and discrimination is only one. Until this is acknowledged, women are likely to continue to leave at a higher rate than men. By your argument, any law firm with more male than female partners must be discriminating against women. And it follows, any with more female partners must be discriminating against men.

(1)(0)

Jarrod

“It also revealed black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) partners and employees are paid, on average, 22.4% less than their white colleagues — down from 23.1% last year.”

This really is unacceptable. It is down from last year, but at such a low rate that it would take well over 30 years for BAME partners and employees to break even.

Immediate action should be taken by A&O.

(2)(4)

Boomboomboom

Like what? Firing white senior partners who were made up at times of discrimination or over-promoting junior ones just because of their skin colour? Take a hike.

(0)(0)

Stats Life

The alleged pay gap is largely explained in firms by successful women having kids, being married to successful men and then decided they cannot be bothered going back to their old job when the don’t need to. It only takes a few examples of that to distort the overall stats.

The way to address the alleged pay gap is too stop women deciding what to do with their careers after having kids and forcing them back into the previous roles for the remainder of their working careers.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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