The firm is pushing on with several initiatives to ensure the gap continues to close. These include:
- Being flexible about the hours and days people can work
- Running myth-busting sessions on how to become a partner and increase transparency of the process
- Promoting early career conversations
- Raising the profile of a range of female partner roles
- Bias training to managers and partners involved in decision making for partnership
- Matching people with sponsors and mentors
- Supporting returners to work from maternity and paternity leave including through mentoring
- Offering confidential discussions on balancing work and home life
One reason the median gender pay gap reduced so significantly this year is that the snapshot was taken on 5 April 2020 when some of our executive assistants, who are mainly women, were on furlough. Without this the median pay gap would still have reduced but less significantly.
The partner gender pay gap has risen slightly this year from 5.2% to 7.2%. Despite increasing the number of female partners, which will clearly be a positive in the long-term for the firm, they are at the start of the lockstep and therefore on lower remuneration causing the partner gender pay gap to rise for the time being.
Meanwhile ethnicity data, produced voluntarily based on the same parameters as the gender pay gap data, showed the firm’s mean ethnicity pay gap narrowed 0.9% to 12.5% while the median rose 5.4% to 26.6%.
The firm has made progress in increasing the proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff and partners, up from 9.1% in 2019 to 10.7% in 2020. It has set a target of 14%, which is above the Law Society recommendation of 12%.
Ongoing initiatives in this area include:
- Committing to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter
- Running guest speaker events and regularly delivering ‘Let’s talk about race’ sessions
- Starting reverse mentoring
- Unconscious bias training to everyone involved in recruitment and selection decisions
- Raising the profile of ethnic minority partners and staff through panels, videos and newsletters
- A mentoring programme to support development, enhance skills and confidence
- Partnering with schools with a high number of pupils from ethnic minority communities
- Launching a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic development bursary for first and second year university students
Claire Clarke, Mills & Reeve managing partner, said: “Now, more than ever, we see gender balance as being just one element of how we create a diverse, inclusive workforce at Mills & Reeve. We continue to voluntarily report on pay gaps beyond the statutory requirements and set ourselves high targets to achieve."
“It is great to see the progress we are making in closing both the gender and ethnicity pay gaps. We will continue the hard work by continuously strengthening our culture, developing our recruitment reward and recognition policies further and seeking to do all we can to help everyone to thrive at Mills & Reeve."
Download the full gender pay gap report 2020 here.