Allen and Overy reports a 17.1% mean gender pay gap for London staff

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Law firm Allen and Overy has reported a 17.1% mean gender pay gap for its London-based employees’ fixed hourly pay, as at 5 April 2019; the organisation reported a 20% mean gender pay gap for April 2018.

The firm reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2020. Allen and Overy has also voluntarily included data on its partner population pay, its ethnicity pay gap and its sexual orientation pay gap.

The regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the differences in mean and median hourly rates of pay for male and female full-time employees, the gap in mean and median bonus pay for men and women, the proportions of male and female employees awarded bonus pay, and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

Allen and Overy’s 2019 median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay in London is 31.8%, compared to 32.8% in 2018. For Belfast-based staff, the mean gap is 11.7%, while the median is 16.8%; this compares to 13.8% and 16% respectively in 2018.

When partners are included, the firm’s mean gender pay gap rises to 61.5% for 2019 and its median gender pay gap stands at 43.8%; Allen and Overy stated that this increase can be attributed to the fact that more partners and senior partners are male. In 2018, the organisation’s mean gender pay gap, inclusive of partner pay, was 61.2% and the median was 39%.

Allen and Overy’s mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the 12 months up to 5 April 2019 in London was 40.3%, compared to 45.3% in 2018. The median gender pay gap for bonus payments is 44.6%, which is an increase from the 28% reported in 2018. Over the reporting period, 60.7% of male staff received a bonus payment, compared with 68.9% of female employees. This difference reflects that more women at Allen and Overy work part-time, compared to male staff; bonus payments are pro-rated in line with working hours. In Belfast, the mean gender bonus pay gap is 42.5% and the median is 10.9%, with 66% of men receiving a bonus compared to 74.2% of women.

Just over half (52%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Allen and Overy are women, compared to 54% in the second, 63% in the third and 76% in the lowest, which has an 8.6% mean gender pay gap in favour of women. Currently, 28% of London-based staff are women employed in business support or administrative roles.

To address its gender pay gap, Allen and Overy aims to have at least 30% of women in its partnership selection process each year, having delivered on its aim to have at least 30% of women in leadership positions in 2018. The firm is also operating development programmes for women at all levels of the business and it conducts listening exercises, to ensure Allen and Overy understands the day-to-day realities for female staff.

The law firm additionally offers equal shared parental leave and flexible working options to both male and female employees, as well as providing parental coaching for men taking parental leave. Partners and people managers also receive training so they can better provide support for team members on how and when to return to work.

This year, Allen and Overy has also introduced additional emergency backup care, alongside its existing online resource centre and Families@A&O network. The business has also conducted a feedback review, to see what more it can do for working parents.

In terms of its combined ethnicity pay gap, Allen and Overy has reported a mean pay gap of 23.1% and a median gap of 32.3% in favour of ethnic minority groups for 2019. A total of 14.3% of employees at Allen and Overy identify as black, Asian or minority ethnic (Bame), based on 96% of staff who have chosen to report their ethnicity.

Allen and Overy has stated that it aims to address any processes that act as barriers to Bame attraction, retention and progression, as well as track talent internally to ensure that effective mentoring and sponsorship is in place. Allen and Overy already operates a race and ethnicity network and has published interviews with members of this group to promote open conversations around race.

Allen and Overy has also reported its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pay gap data, based on 73% of UK partners and employees who have recorded their sexual orientation. The mean pay gap is 9.8% and the median is 14.3% in favour of LGBT employees for 2019; 5% of the workforce identifies as LGBT.

The firm’s A&Out network has 100 members and 700 allies across the firm. The organisation has also run presentations and training on being a supportive ally, published case study articles from LGBT trainees and held a programme of events in support of Pride.

Sasha Hardman, global HR director, said: “Diversity and inclusion are strategic priorities for us and we have seen progress across many areas over the past year. It’s important to understand how and where we are making progress, because many of the ultimate measures of success, for example seeing better gender balance in our partnership, are long-term goals.

“We are certainly moving in the right direction, not least in understanding the issues, challenges and barriers better than we ever have, and being confident that the plans we have in place will produce the results we want.”