Gender Pay Gap
Statement from Shaun Savory, Human Resources Director
Along with all other employers with 250 or more employees, Birketts LLP is required to analyse and report on our gender pay gap ; usually on an annual basis. The unprecedented global pandemic meant that the requirement to report in 2020 was suspended, which is why you may note that these figures are missing.
The gender pay gap measures the difference between average earnings for men and women, but is not a comparison of pay rates for men and women who carry out the same role.
Although we are pleased to see that the overall trend shows a narrowing in our gender pay gap, naturally we are disappointed to see what at first glance appears to backward step compared to our results last year. However, on closer inspection of the results, we consider that the COVID pandemic and resulting temporary shifts in working arrangements for many of our female colleagues in this period due to their personal and family commitments will have skewed this data. We therefore hope to see this reverse next year.
Our diversity and inclusion programme continues at pace, with the introduction of an ESG committee, who will be responsible for setting and driving forward our Diversity and Inclusion strategy. We have already rolled out a number of projects to support this; including an overhaul of our parental leave benefits to offer enhancements to paid shared parental, maternity, adoption and paternity leave and significant investment into coaching and development initiatives to support our future female leaders. An example of this investment is ‘Pathway to Leadership’. Following a successful pilot we have now formally launched this workshop for female associates to identify, discuss and navigate the practical and psychological obstacles to career progression.
Additionally, we now offer an informal hybrid home/ office working model, which is providing a great deal of our employees with greater flexibility to be able to balance their home and work lives.
Inevitably, the figures on their own can be deceptive. Over 70% of our employees are female and like many law firms, we have a large secretarial cohort. This secretarial community account almost a fifth of employees and also happens to be made up entirely of women, which inevitably skews our figures.
We are proud to offer a staff profit share scheme to all employees with the relevant length of service, allowing our employees to be rewarded for the firm’s overall success. The bonus is paid as a percentage of basic salary which impacts our bonus gap, as does the fact that 95% of our part time workers are female, so their bonus has been pro-rated.
Our female Partnership cohort continues to expand, now making up 38% of the Partnership (as of April 2022) with the number of female partners doubling since April 2020.
Despite the above, we know that we still have more work to do. We are committed to taking further steps to narrow this gap and ensure that every member of the Birketts family has the same opportunities to develop and achieve their full potential.