Our gender and ethnicity pay gap reports for 2022-2023

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For 2022/23, we have a gender pay gap of 17% (5% annual decrease) and an ethnicity pay gap of 15% (1% annual increase).

Our vision is to create an inclusive and diverse firm where there is no disparity in pay or opportunity, regardless of gender or ethnicity, and all our people are empowered to reach their full potential.

Fiona Baldwin , Fiona Baldwin, Head of People & Brand
Our strategic vision is to be one of the best firms at valuing diversity through everyday inclusion. This means that each person in our firm is equally valued and respected. To achieve this, we are committed to providing our leaders with the necessary knowledge and resources to advocate for and support a diverse workforce and to create an environment where every voice is valued and every person feels empowered. Our deliberate actions to attract, retain and progress diverse talent are accompanied by setting measurable targets and holding our leaders accountable for progress.

Our pay gaps for 2022/2023 are based on a data snapshot taken in April 2023

The reportable mean pay gaps (employees only) are:

  • gender pay gap of 17% (5% annual decrease)
  • ethnicity pay gap of 15% (1% annual increase).

When partners are included, our mean pay gaps for 2022/23 are:

  • gender pay gap of 32% (5% annual decrease)
  • ethnicity pay gap of 33% (3% annual increase).

Our reportable mean bonus gaps (employees only) for 2022/23 are:

  • gender bonus gap of 50% (3% annual increase)
  • ethnicity bonus gap of 33% (16% annual increase).


Data insights

Our gender pay gap is heading in the right direction and has been reducing since we started reporting it in 2018. We are not complacent, though, and are focused on significantly reducing both our gender and ethnicity pay gaps. We continue to challenge ourselves in terms of how opportunities are allocated fairly, how performance is evaluated and ensuring that senior leaders actively advocate and support diverse talent to progress.

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. Currently, our like-for-like bonus gaps for ethnicity and gender are reducing. At the associate level (which includes all trainees in the first three to five years of their careers), our people are paid according to a trainee reward matrix, which ensures that reward and recognition is fair and linked to exam success.

In recent years, we have significantly increased minority ethnic representation at the associate level. In our Autumn 2022 intake, 47% of first-year trainees were minority ethnic, compared with 38% in Autumn 2021. This increase in first-year minority ethnic trainees has resulted in an increase in the pay gap for the whole associate level, which has also widened the overall reportable pay gap; this is due to representation as our trainee matrix ensures that individuals are paid the same for doing the same role.

Although our overall reportable ethnicity gap has increased, it is reducing at every level other than associate and executive, reflecting the work we are doing to build a strong pipeline of minority ethnic talent.

On gender, we have a good balance up to manager level but from senior manager level and upwards, the percentage of women in senior positions decreases.

As in most organisations, higher bonuses and salaries tend to be awarded to more senior people. Therefore, owing to the lower percentage of representation at senior levels in our business, the gender and ethnicity bonus and pay gaps increase when we take a snapshot of the average pay for all people in our business (the reportable pay gaps). 

Fiona Baldwin , Fiona Baldwin, Head of People & Brand
Whilst this analysis provides some insight into our pay gap data, the driving forces behind pay gaps are varied, complex and deeply embedded into wider society. We are proud of the progress we have made to date but acknowledge there is still much work to be done to achieve parity. Our efforts to foster an inclusive culture and to recruit and retain diverse talent mean that we are attracting and promoting more women and minority ethnic colleagues than ever before, and we need to ensure that people are supported to thrive and progress in their careers so they will choose to stay. Improving diversity at the senior levels in our firm is a key area of focus. Continuing to fill the pipeline for future leaders will help to improve our reportable pay and bonus gaps and more importantly, provide visible role models and leadership for our increasingly diverse talent.


2023 key achievements 

  • We have focused our efforts on creating a culture of inclusion as we believe this is vital for all our people to thrive - our latest internal pulse survey showed that our people continue to feel a strong sense of belonging (83%) and pride (87%) in our firm.
  • Since 2018, the percentage representation of minority ethnic employees has increased at every level, with overall representation rising from 16% in 2018 to 30% in 2023
  • Targeted action to improve our pipeline of women and minority ethnic colleagues in senior management is resulting in improvements in representation and hires at senior levels in the firm
    • female experienced hires increased to 51% in 2023 (from 44% in 2021)
    • minority ethnic experienced hires increased to 46% (including 15% Black) (from 43% overall and 10% Black in 2021)
    • female representation at director level increased to 29% in 2023 (from 24% in 2021)
    • minority ethnic representation at director level increased to 11% in 2023 (from 10% in 2021)
    • female representation at partner level increased to 22% in 2023 (from 19% in 2021)
    • minority ethnic representation at partner level increased to 8% in 2023 (from 6% in 2021)
  • Further embedded our flexible ‘How we work’ framework, which underpins our culture of everyday inclusion
  • Extended paid paternity leave from two to six weeks to ensure greater gender equality in working family benefits
  • Maintained our position as Top 10 Working Families Employer in 2023 for our approach to flexible working and improving family leave policy
  • Recognised as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women 2023
  • Introduced a gender allyship programme for partners to promote awareness and understanding of the barriers women and gender minorities face in the workplace and encourage allyship to support progression


Targeted actions we’re taking

We are addressing the systemic, cultural barriers that exist within the workplace, which have limited progress and opportunity for all underrepresented groups. The activity we undertake to do this includes sponsorship, flexible and family working, education and language, visible role models, accountable leadership and transparent opportunities.

Each business area seeks to ensure there are equal and transparent work opportunities for everyone. Senior leaders are held accountable for improvements in diversity representation across all levels, ensuring that opportunities for promotion and performance are transparent and positively impact diversity in our firm.

Some key actions include:

  • Specific action plans sponsored by senior leaders for both ethnicity and cultural heritage and gender to identify and remove barriers
  • Performance ratings are reviewed by gender and ethnicity across all service lines, together with a review of the proportion of people who have been promoted
  • Quarterly updates are provided to each business area, including information on gender gaps in their business area so that they can identify and address trends
  • Developmental programmes for women, non-binary (NB) and gender non-confirming (GNC) colleagues at mid-senior levels, including access to a partner advocate and coach facilitator
  • Targeted progression and coaching programmes for minority ethnic talent
  • Transition coaching for people returning from family leave, ensuring a smooth, supported transition back to work, recognising that this is a critical time in someone’s career, requiring greater flexibility, support and mentoring
  • Removing unconscious bias in job adverts, advertising flexibility in all roles, committing to better gender balance in interview panels and training our people in equality and unconscious bias  
  • Efforts to increase the uptake of flexible working (including job sharing), through greater visibility and progression opportunities


Reported Pay Gaps for 2022 to 2023

A snapshot taken in April 2023

GENDER PAY GAP April 2023 April 2022
Reported pay gap (employees only)
Pay gap - mean 17% 22%
Pay gap - mean 50% 47% (48% corrected) 
% women received a bonus 95% 100%
Partners only
Pay gap – mean 8% 16%
Pay gap – median 9% 14%
All (employees and partners)
Pay gap – mean 32% 37%
Pay gap - median 15% 20%


ETHNICITY PAY GAP April 2023 April 2022
Reported pay gap (employees only)
Pay gap - mean 15% 14%
Pay gap - median 9% 8%
Bonus gap – mean 33% 17% 
% Minority ethnic received a bonus 87% 100%
All (employees and partners)
Pay gap – mean 33% 30%
As % of total population
% Partners minority ethnic 7% 7%
% Employees minority ethnic 30% 27%
% Partners and employees minority ethnic 29% 27%