Bird and Bird reports a 14.5% mean gender pay gap

Bird and Bird

International law firm Bird and Bird has reported a 14.5% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at 5 April 2017.

The organisation has reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2018.

The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were 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.

Bird and Bird’s median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 27.6% as at 5 April 2017.

Its mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 5 April 2017 is 33.5%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 48.9%. Over this period, 40% of female employees received a bonus payment compared to 42% of male employees.

More than half (55.2%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Bird and Bird are female, compared to 52.2% in the second quartile, 64.4% in the third quartile and 71.1% in the lowest pay quartile.

Bird and Bird attributes its gender pay gap to the higher proportion of women who are employed in junior roles. For example, the majority of lower paid legal personal assistant positions are fulfilled by women. Furthermore, the law firm’s analysis shows that the gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay and for bonus pay is more prevalent within senior business services roles, as this is reflective of the higher number of men who work in senior management jobs at the organisation.

The firm’s bonus gap is also attributed to the fact that more female employees work part-time than male employees. As the gender pay gap data for bonuses reflects the actual sums paid, female employees who work on a part-time basis, or who were on maternity leave for part of the bonus year, will therefore have received a lower bonus payment than male employees working in an equivalent role. As of 5 April 2017, 18.3% of Bird and Bird’s part-time employees are women, compared to 0.9% who are men.

To address its gender pay gap, Bird and Bird will continue to encourage both agile and flexible working opportunities, as well as promote its family-friendly policies, which support employees in creating a good work-life balance. Furthermore, the law firm has introduced a global women’s development programme, which is designed to help retain female associates and encourage female progression into more senior roles.

Nicholas Perry, partner, head of London at Bird and Bird, and Andrea Pankhurst, head of human resources, UK at Bird and Bird, said in the report: “At Bird and Bird we are committed to creating a diverse workforce, and recognise the benefits of diversity throughout our business. We strive to create, and maintain, an inclusive work environment and are proud to be founding signatories of the Law Society Diversity and Inclusion Charter, the flagship diversity initiative of the legal profession.

“At Bird and Bird we encourage both agile and flexible working and are confident that our family-friendly working environment, together with our approach to equal pay, will continue to attract and retain both male and female employees.”