Gender pay gap at firms revealed

updated on 12 April 2023

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Nearly 80% of UK employers have a gender pay gap that favours men in 2022-2023.  

A gender pay gap can be understood as the salary difference between men and women across different roles within an organisation. It aims to highlight where there may be concentrations of a particular gender at lower or higher pay levels. Equal pay for men and women operating in the same role has been a legal requirement since the Equal Pay Act 1970.  

According to new data, published by the Financial Times the difference between men’s and women’s median hourly salary in 2022-2023 was 12.2%, up from 11.9% in 2017-2018. 

Law firms reported particularly large gender pay gaps: 

Speaking to the Financial Times, a spokesperson for Linklaters said there had been growth “in the proportion of our most junior legal, secretarial and business roles being held by women which has had an impact on our gender pay gap”. The firm also added that it's dedicated to “building a diverse pipeline of talent and increasing the number of women in our leadership positions”. 

Of the five firms included in the pay gap data via the Financial Times, only two saw their gender pay gaps decrease. Clifford Chance was pleased to report that the firm’s gender pay gap had narrowed from 37.2% in 2017, to 31.8% in 2022.  

Speaking on the improvement in the firm’s annual pay gap report, the firm said: “While we are pleased that some of our numbers are moving in the right direction, our pay gaps remain unsatisfactory.”  

It continues: “The annual reporting of this data allows us to take stock of how we are seeking to realise our inclusion strategy to change the rules, change the culture and change the lived experience.”  

Most notably, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP reported a 0% difference between men and women’s median hourly pay in its 2022 data, which is down from 13.3% in 2017. 

Claire Wells, the firm’s London managing partner, said: “We continue to focus on driving measurable change and ensure transparency as part of our diversity and inclusion commitments.” 

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