Freshfields narrows gender pay gap

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By Thomas Connelly on

Magic circle player also publishes ethnicity data and, for the first time, disability and LGBT+ results

Magic circle outfit Freshfields has narrowed its overall gender pay gap by almost three percentage points, according to its latest report.

The firm’s 2020 mean overall gender pay gap comes out at 54.5%, down slightly from 57.2% on the previous year. Looking at just UK partners, the gender pay gap decreased from 10.4% in 2019 to 2.4% in 2020. It’s mean gender pay gap for employees now sits at -1.1% in favour of women.

Freshfields recorded a drop in its overall ethnicity pay gap, too, from 66.4% to 59.5%. The firm said 21% of its UK partners and employees identified as BAME (Black, Asian or minority ethnic) in 2020.

The firm also posted its disability and LGBT+ pay gaps for the first time, posting mean gaps of 65.4% and 49.4% respectively.

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Claire Wills, London managing partner at Freshfields, commented: “It is encouraging that we continue to reduce our gender and ethnicity pay gaps, however, as long as pay gaps remain we know there is more work to do. We remain committed to improving inclusion across the firm and our various initiatives, programmes and networks that champion diversity and inclusion all contribute towards closing the pay gaps and ensuring Freshfields is a place where everyone feels they belong.”

She added: “Our new diversity and inclusion commitments and targets will be an important marker of success over the coming years, helping us to drive real change and accelerate our progress.”

Elsewhere, Eversheds Sutherland‘s overall pay gap remains relatively unchanged at 57.6%, while its pay gap result for employees only dropped from 20.2% to 19.1%. Its overall ethnicity result is up from 33.7% to 39.3%.

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