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Our gender and ethnicity pay gap reports for 2020-2021

Our vision is to create an inclusive firm where there is no disparity in pay or opportunity regardless of gender or ethnicity. We have some way to go to achieve this because of lower representation of women and ethnic minorities at senior levels in our business. For gender, we have an equal gender balance up to Manager level but from Senior Manager level and upwards, the percentage of women in senior positions decreases. On average, 22% of our people are minority ethnic, but this figure is just 6% at partner level.

When we calculate our pay gaps at each level (the like-for-like pay gap) we see that people in our firm are remunerated comparably for work done at similar levels. However, our like-for-like bonus pay gap is wider, which we are looking at addressing by widening access to opportunities for all our people. As in most organisations, higher bonuses tend to be awarded to more senior people.

Therefore, owing to the difference in representation at senior levels in our business, the gender and ethnicity pay gaps increase when we take a snapshot of the average pay for all men and all women in our business (the reportable pay gap).

Our pay gaps for 2020/2021 are based on a data snapshot taken in April 2021.


The reportable mean pay gaps (employees only) are:

  • gender pay gap of 23% (2% annual decrease)
  • ethnicity pay gap of 11% (no change compared to the previous year).

When partners are included, our mean pay gaps for 2020/21 are:

  • gender pay gap of 42% (3% annual decrease)
  • ethnicity pay gap of 29% (7% annual increase).

Our reportable mean bonus gaps (employees only) for 2020/21 are:

  • gender bonus gap of 56% (3% annual increase)
  • ethnicity bonus gap of 20% mean (4% annual increase).

How changes to our reward scheme impacted our pay gaps

In 2021, we launched a new bonus scheme, which more closely links the firm’s investment in bonus to performance. This gives everyone an opportunity to earn a bonus, which is proportionate to their contribution to the firm’s success.

In line with a change in our financial year end, we also changed our reward cycle in 2021, awarding bonuses in April rather than October.

The following impacts of this change have affected our pay gap calculations this year:

  • Nearly every person in our firm received a bonus in 2021, which increases the number of people included in our bonus gap calculation.
  • The bonus gaps for both ethnicity and gender in 2021 were therefore wider because almost everyone, including those on support role and trainee salaries, received a bonus. This lowered the average bonus for women because there are more women than men in support roles, where bonuses have not historically been paid. It also lowered the average bonus for people of ethnic minority heritage, because there is a greater proportion of ethnic minorities at trainee level, where bonuses have also not historically been paid.
  • The pay gap includes bonuses paid in April 2021 appropriately pro-rated, and the bonus gap includes bonuses paid in the year ending 5 April 2021.

Our data shows us that, whilst we don’t have an issue with like-for-like pay for the same role at the same level, we do need to address representation at senior levels to improve our reportable pay gap:

  • In April 2021, 48% of the firm’s employees were women, the same as last year. Women accounted for 19% of the firm’s partner group (annual increase of 2%) and 25% of directors (annual increase of 1%)
  • In April 2021, 22% of employees (annual increase of 2%) and 6% of partners (annual decrease of 2%) were minority ethnic

Grant Thornton is focused on creating an inclusive culture where all our people can thrive and on building a balanced, sustainable pipeline of talent across all levels.

Actions we’re taking

  • Increasing sponsorship, mentoring and coaching opportunities for our women and minority ethnic colleagues, from both internal and external sources, and encouraging ownership and accountability for progress by business unit leaders. Examples include:
    • Coaching for women at senior manager level to equip them with the mindset, network, and leadership skills to step up to director
    • Coaching for minority ethnic employees, which aims to improve engagement, career capital and progression
    • Colleagues are paired with a future or current international hire to support them in adjusting to life in the UK
    • Reverse Mentoring - pairs leaders with more junior colleagues who mentor them on what it feels like to be underrepresented in the workplace
  • Setting targets for improving representation and advancement across regions and service lines
  • Working with our leaders to ensure barriers to progression are removed and that equality, and inclusion in general, is a business imperative for all
  • Improving people managers’ understanding and awareness of gender, ethnicity, race and culture, and improved guidance for people managers to gather feedback on inclusion from their teams

Snapshot of 2021 achievements

  • Reached record highs in 2021 for hiring minority ethnic candidates as experienced hires (at 43% of all starters, 10% of whom are Black) and trainees (35%, with 4% of whom are Black), with improvements within trainee already apparent for the ongoing 2022 season
  • In April 2021, 19% partners and 25% directors are women (up from 16% and 21% in 2018)
  • By focusing on enhancing our internal pipeline for senior women since 2020, we have increased the percentage of women starters (new hires) at senior manager level from 32% to 43%
  • Gender pay gap reduced to 23% from 27% in 2018
  • Published our ethnicity pay gap (since 2018)
  • Top 10 Working Families Employer in 2021
  • Introduced fully paid neonatal leave and matched paid leave for carers
  • Expanded the number of Ethnicity, Cultural Heritage and Religion focused network groups
  • Improved our outreach by collaborating with external partners:
    • As a business partner of the Amos Bursary, we will financially support five minority ethnic students in achieving university education and in preparing them for the corporate world and entrepreneurial leadership
    • Through our partnership with The Black Professional Services Collective (BPSC) we are increasing the representation and advancement of Black talent across our sector
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Dave Dunckley, CEO at Grant Thornton UK LLP:

“We are proud of our commitment and investment to make meaningful change by removing the barriers to success we know exist for women and minority ethnic colleagues. We are working hard to create a culture where all our people are equally empowered to reach their full potential and know that we have more to do.

“We are building strong foundations for the future by taking specific action that builds an inclusive culture and supports the recruitment, progress and development of women and minority ethnic talent.

“However, our data shows we have more to do to increase representation of women and minority ethnic colleagues at senior positions in our firm. We will continue to drive change by raising awareness, building accountability into our processes, and taking firm-wide remedial action where required.”

Pay Gaps for 2020 to 2021

A snapshot taken in April 2021

GENDER PAY GAP April 2021 April 2020
Reported pay gap (employees only)    
Pay gap - mean 23% 25%
Pay gap - median 19% 24%
Bonus gap – mean 56% 53%
Bonus gap - median 0% 50%
% women received a bonus 100% 53%
Partners only
Pay gap – mean 7% 10%
Pay gap – median 16% 11%
All (employees and partners)
Pay gap – mean 42% 39%
Pay gap - median 21% 26%
ETHNICITY PAY GAP April 2021 April 2020
Reported pay gap (employees only)    
Pay gap - mean 11% 11%
Pay gap - median 7% 8%
Bonus gap – mean 20% 16%
% Minority ethnic received a bonus 100% 45%
All (employees and partners)
Pay gap – mean 29% 22%
As % of total population
% Partners minority ethnic 6% 8%
% Employees minority ethnic 22% 20%
% Partners and employees minority ethnic 22% 19%