Law firm Linklaters has revealed narrowed gender and ethnicity pay gaps in its 2021 UK gender pay report, which was published this week.
The mean gender pay gap for employees, including equity partners, was 61.9% in 2021, which was down from 62.9% in 2020. The mean pay gap, which excludes equity partners, was 18.8% in 2021, down from 20.7% the previous year.
Meanwhile, the median pay gap excluding equity partners stood at 34.5% in 2021, down from 38.8% in 2020, and the median gap for all staff and equity partners was 33.6% in 2021, down from 39.5% the previous year. The gender target at partnership level also rose from 30% to 40%.
In addition, the mean ethnicity pay gap for workers excluding equity partners was 6.4% last year, down from 10.8% in 2020. The mean pay gap for employees including equity partners stood at 36.5% in 2021, compared to 34.6% the previous year.
The median pay gap excluding equity partners stood at -22.4% last year compared to -4.8% in 2020, and for employees including equity partners, the median figure was -0.1% in 2021 compared to 4.9% in 2020.
According to the firm, both pay gaps had improved on a mean and a median basis, with black, Asian and minority ethnic members of staff progressing and occupying more senior roles.
Linklaters’ senior partner Aedamar Comiskey commented that the business was moving in the right direction, but was not yet where senior leadership wanted or needed to be.
He explained that, while the gender pay gap has decreased compared to 2020, it continued to exist because of the composition of the workforce.
“We have a higher proportion of women in secretarial and junior business team roles, which predominantly fall within our lowest pay quartile. While these roles are competitively rewarded by reference to the market, the fact that so many of them are held by women has the effect of reducing the average pay and bonuses of women in our firm,” Comiskey said.