TLT has published results of its fifth gender pay gap report revealing the UK law firm has successfully reduced its mean and median pay gap for a third consecutive year.

The report shows that the firm’s mean and median employee pay gaps decreased to 17.8% and 27.6% from 21.2% and 31.9% in 2020 respectively. 

In addition to firm wide improvements, TLT also recorded progress in tightening pay gaps between different roles including lawyers, legal directors and associates. The lawyer pay gap was at an all-time low in 2021 at 3.7%, whilst a negative pay gap was recorded for the first time amongst legal directors (-1.9% mean and -0.06% median). The pay gap amongst associates also remained under 1% for the third consecutive year.   

These positive results showcase the progress the firm is making in terms of addressing gender-imbalances across pay quartiles. Indeed, the report reveals that one of the main contributing factors to TLT’s gender pay gap stems from the under-representation of women in higher paying jobs. Although women make up the majority of employees at the firm (72%), only 22% of employees in the highest paying jobs are female, compared to 32% which are male. In contrast, there is also a higher percentage of women in lower paying roles at firm. 

The firm credits its pay gap progress to its longer-term gender equality strategy, which has delivered a number of positive changes in recent years including: 

  • An increase in the number of women appointed to legal director positions

  • Improved retention of female associates  

  • Improved parity between women and men receiving a bonus 

Examples of some Initiatives have included: 

  • A fully flexible approach to work allowing employees to choose when and where they work

  • A ‘ramp down, ramp up’ programme for expectant and new parents to support the transition into and from family leave

  • A market-leading maternity and shared parental provision, with complementary policies to support fathers or non-birthing parents 

  • Two new apprenticeship programmes which offer an alternative route to qualify as a solicitor to offer new opportunities for those in lower paid roles to progress to high earning positions. 

The firm also revealed promising figures in terms of the mean ethnicity pay gap which has decreased to 10.8% in 2021, compared to 13.1% in 2020. 

Similar to the gender pay gap, the main contributing factor to the ethnicity pay gap is linked to the unequal representation of BAME employees in the higher paid roles at the firm. For example, 26% of those earning in the upper quartiles at TLT are white employees, compared to 19% who are BAME employees. In contrast there are more BAME employees in lower paid roles (30%) than white employees (24%). The under-representation of BAME employees in these roles explains the increase in the median pay gap, which went from 12.9% in 2020 to 16.1% in 2021. 

Since 2019, the firm has taken a number of proactive steps to better understand the factors widening the median ethnicity pay gap and to address the career barriers faced by all BAME employees working at TLT including: 

  • Signing the Race Fairness Commitment 

  • Investing in research to identify areas for improving how we appoint, progress and retain BAME individuals across all legal and non-legal roles. 

  • Acting on this with comprehensive targets to attract, recruit, promote and retain BAME employees 

Helen Hodgkinson, Chief People Officer commented: 

“Whilst we still have plenty to do to close our gender and ethnicity pay gaps, I am encouraged by the results of our latest report, and the picture this paints over the course of the past five years.

“We have worked hard in the last couple of years to ensure inclusivity is at the heart of everything we do and this coupled with our impactful initiatives are helping narrow our gender and ethnicity pay gaps. 

“The introduction of our robust equality, diversity and inclusivity strategy has caused a ripple effect across our firm and I am confident that we are fast on our way to becoming one of the most inclusive and diverse law firms in the country”. 

Date published

04 April 2022

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