The firm’s overall gender pay gap has reduced this year, with the mean down 1.3% to 20.3% and the median falling 1.4% to 32.1%.
While encouraging to see the gender pay gap slimming, Mills & Reeve has introduced a number of initiatives to ensure progress continues, including:
- Matching people with sponsors and mentors
- Running myth-busting sessions on how to become a partner
- Encouraging women into more senior business roles by enabling greater flexibility and agile working around other commitments
- The use of technology to ensure people can work in a way that achieves the best for themselves and the firm
The mean partner gender pay gap also fell this year from 10.8% to 5.2% after seeing more female staff progress up the partnership ladder. The Board’s priority is to increase the proportion of female partners to at least 30% from the current level of 28%.
Claire Clarke, Mills & Reeve’s managing partner said: “It’s important to us to increase transparency and improve diversity and inclusion which is why each year we have gone beyond the statutory requirements for gender pay gap reporting by adding an additional layer to what we publish. We started with releasing partner data last year and we’ve gone one step further in sharing our ethnicity data this year.”
“While media scrutiny often concentrates on gender diversity, our focus is very much on the issue of diversity in all its forms. Alongside increasing gender and Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation, we have a number of LGBT+, disability and social mobility initiatives.”
Mills & Reeve’s ethnicity data, produced voluntarily based on the same parameters as their gender pay gap data, showed a mean ethnicity pay gap of 13.4% and a median pay gap of 21.2%, although the sample size is small as only 9.1% of employees are BAME.
The firm are already testing a range of initiatives with their graduate recruitment programme, which will help develop best practice on how they can hire more diversely throughout the firm including:
- Partnering with Birmingham Black Lawyers to offer a BAME bursary award to a university student and provide a week’s work experience
- Moving from traditional job fairs to more inclusive events such as the Interlaw Diversity Forum
- Inviting a diverse set of first year students into its Birmingham office to find out more about the firm through talks with partners and trainees
Claire concludes: “While there is still much more work for us to do in this important area we are pleased with the progress that has been made so far. We welcome any opportunity to shine a light on the importance of creating a diverse, balanced workforce through our gender pay gap report and beyond.”