The figures show that the firm has narrowed its mean and median gender pay gaps for staff. The mean gender pay gap has decreased from 14.9 per cent in 2018 to 14.4 per cent in 2019 and the median gender pay gap reduced from 40.4 per cent in 2018 to 38.4 per cent in 2019.
Another positive change worth noting is that there are fewer women in the lowest pay quartile compared to last year and a greater proportion in each of the higher pay quartiles. In every quartile the proportion of women is greater than men but the numbers seem to indicate that women are moving up into the higher pay segments.
The increase in the percentage of women in the top two pay quartiles is a direct result of the numerous talent programmes that Reed Smith has in place to ensure that an equal proportion of the most senior roles at the firm are populated by women.
This was clearly demonstrated in the firm’s latest round of partner promotions in London, all three were female. Globally, women comprise almost half of the 29 new partner class, and of the 35 new counsel, 19 are women.
For the first time, Reed Smith has chosen to devise metrics to determine the ethnicity pay gap at the firm. It expects to make a comparison to show progress next year when it has a second data set to make the analysis.
Tamara Box, Reed Smith’s EME managing partner, comments: “Gender parity is not about what we report; it’s about what we do. A delay in the reporting won’t change what we are doing with regard to achieving workplace equality. When the government offered a reprieve on the deadline for MOT reporting, did anyone think that meant it was okay to drive a dangerously unsafe car in the meantime? Of course not, because we all take personal responsibility for doing the right thing, even if no one is watching. Maybe the pandemic means that no one is watching our gender equality progress for a few months, but our core values will continue to guide our actions.”