Clifford Chance reports ethnicity, sexuality and disability pay gaps alongside gender

pay ratios

Global law firm Clifford Chance has reported a 52% mean ethnicity pay gap, 35.6% mean sexuality pay gap, and a 61.9% mean disability pay gap; it is the first law firm to report on sexuality and disability discrepancies.

In advance of the second deadline for pay gap reporting on 4 April 2019, Clifford Chance has published data revealing a 21.8% mean gender difference for fixed hourly pay, and 48.5% for bonuses; hourly pay has seen a small gap increase from 20.3% in the 2017 report, while the bonus gap has reduced from 53.2%.

Alongside this data, the business chose to include various items that are not legally required, including disability and sexuality pay gaps, as well as outlining its partner pay gap, which it also reported last year.

The reporting regulations do not allow firms to include their partner data, as these individuals are not considered employees; Clifford Chance stated that it chose to include the information to provide a more complete understanding of the issue at hand. The organisation’s mean and median partner pay gaps are 25.9% and 30.5%, respectively. This has reduced from 27.3% and 46.3% since the 2017 report.

The firm’s mean overall pay gap, including partners, is 68.9%, and its median is 45.7%; this is an increase on 2017, when these numbers stood at 66.3% and 43.6%. The firm states that the reasons for this difference include the level of remuneration provided to partners, and the fact that women make up only 21.3% of the UK partnership, as well as the high proportion of women in secretarial roles.

The proportion of women receiving a bonus at Clifford Chance in 59%, while among men it is 57%. The firm reports that it has a 49.5% to 50.5% split between women and men in its upper pay quartile, while its lowest quartile is 81.2% female.

Clifford Chance has stated that gender pay is now considered when reward packages are reviewed; it has also introduced an ‘inclusion advocate’ programme, piloted reverse mentoring for senior leaders, increased its enhanced shared parental leave policy to match enhanced maternity leave pay, and re-branded its women’s network to form a new gender parity group, which launched in November 2018.

Lynette Williams, inclusion advocate and global head of client and market development, said: “One of the most important drivers of an inclusive culture is ensuring everyone has a voice. We need to listen to our people, support them, and to do what we can to steer them in the right direction.”

When it comes to addressing other pay discrepancies, the firm cites its network for black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) employees, as well as its group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) employees, called Arcus, and its Disability Action Group. It also runs reverse mentoring, has a partnership with diversity recruitment group Rare, which supports Bame candidates looking to secure graduate positions, hosts events around transgender awareness, and is a signatory of the Time to Change pledge, committing to improving mental health at work.

Williams added: “In a large organisation, it can be difficult for people to know where to go if they need help. It’s important that our people see that the members of the senior team care about [employees] as complex human beings, not just as staff members.

“We must also be cognisant of the fact that this is a broader issue than gender. We know that our differences enrich us as a firm, but if we don’t listen to each other, and engage in a constructive dialogue,  we’ll never make the changes that matter to our people. We’re having that dialogue more and more, and that’s progress.”

Clifford Chance collects diversity information on a voluntary basis through a self-identification portal; among its employees, 81.2% chose to report their ethnicity, 65.2% listed their sexuality, and 70.2% reported disability data.