Taylor Wessing reports a 13.5% mean gender pay gap

Sian Skelton

International law firm Taylor Wessing has reported a 13.5% 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.

Taylor Wessing’s median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 32.8% as at 5 April 2017.

Its mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 5 April 2017 is 29.3%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 53.5%. Over this period, 50.3% of female employees received a bonus payment compared to 51% of male employees.

Under half (46%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Taylor Wessing are female, compared to 43% in the second quartile, 71% in the third quartile and 69% in the lowest pay quartile. Overall, 64% of the total workforce at Taylor Wessing are female, with the majority employed in business services.

Taylor Wessing attributes its gender pay gap to the fact that there are more women than men employed in lower paid positions within the firm, for example in its business services roles. This also influences the organisation’s bonus gender pay gap. The gender pay gap for bonus payments is also affected by the fact that the majority of part-time and secretarial roles at Taylor Wessing are fulfilled by women. The law firm’s discretionary bonus scheme, which is available for all employees, is paid as a percentage of salary.

To address its gender pay gap, Taylor Wessing will continue to action the steps outlined in its Gender Plan, which was introduced in autumn 2017. This details measures the law firm is taking to promote gender equality, with an aim to balance leadership, optimise talent retention and improve its clients’ experience.

Initiatives from the Gender Plan that have been implemented over the last three years include enhanced maternity and shared parental leave pay, an agile working policy, coaching for new parents across the firm and continuing to support women’s leadership programmes.

Furthermore, Taylor Wessing’s talent team and its diversity and inclusion committee will continue to ensure policies and practices at the law firm are fair. This includes actively reviewing decisions around annual performance, pay and bonus activities, as well as creating a culture of inclusion for both men and women.

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Sian Skelton (pictured), board member and lead partner for diversity and inclusion at Taylor Wessing, said: “We are absolutely committed to creating a diverse and inclusive firm. We may be legally obligated to report our gender pay gap, but we are approaching this as part of our Gender Plan, established in autumn 2017, with a view to demonstrating our commitment to tackling this industry-wide issue and promoting our own culture of transparency.

“We are confident these initiatives will help continue to address our gender pay gap, although we acknowledge that there is still a lot we can do, and a lot that we can share and learn from each other. Despite many factors at play which are still outside of our control, we are determined in our commitment to improving this issue in the wider legal industry.”