Gender Pay Gap
Gender Pay Gap 2022
Ashtons Legal, along with all other UK employers with over 250 employees, is required to analyse and report on its gender pay gap.
The gender pay gap is the difference between men’s and women’s average hourly wage within a business, regardless of their role and seniority. This is not the same as equal pay, which is about men and women being paid the same for equal work. We are required to report to the government the following annually on the following:
- mean and median gender pay gap
- mean and median bonus pay gap
- proportion of men and women receiving a bonus
- distribution of men and women across the business divided into four quartiles from lowest to highest pay.
The information is based on data on the snapshot date of 5 April 2022 and bonuses paid in the 12 months to this date.
You can view Ashtons Gender Pay Gap Report 2022 by clicking here: Ashtons Legal Gender Pay Gap Report 2022.
On 5 April 2022, Ashtons Legal had 367 relevant employees.
Review of our data
This year our median gender pay gap increased by 8.3% and the mean increased by 10.4%.
Whilst we are disappointed we have seen an increase in both our median and mean gender pay gaps this year, the overall trend in the graph below shows that the trend is that the gap is closing.
We have undertaken a more detailed analysis of our data, looking at the mean and median gender pay gaps for some of our lawyers and partners. This analysis shows a much smaller pay gap at each level. A negative number shows a gap in favour of women.
Our Bonus Pay Gap graph looks very different to the gender pay gap graph, with the median gender bonus gap from 2018 to 2022 consistently being 0%. This shows that men and women have equal access to a bonus.
There is a big difference between the mean bonus pay gap in 2021 to the mean bonus pay gap in 2022, shifting from -113% in 2021 to 18% in 2022. The reason for this is in the year to 5 April 2021, the firm did not pay out any firm-wide bonuses, whereas they were paid in the year to 5 April 2022. In the year to 5 April 2022, we were able to offer firm-wide bonuses as a thank you for all the hard work and contribution of all of our employees during the pandemic. During this time, we also paid discretionary bonuses. The gap of 18% is in favour of men, and can be attributed to the proportion of men in senior positions at the firm, with many bonuses that were paid being linked to salary.
We have a higher proportion of women than men across each of the quartile ranges, although we have seen a slight increase in men in the upper quartile and a slight increase in women in the lower quartile.
We are looking to pro-actively close our gender pay gap, and our 2022 – 2025 strategy has inclusivity at the heart of it. Our vision in our 2022 – 2025 strategy is to be an exceptional professional service provider putting our clients at the centre of everything we do. We know we cannot achieve this vision alone, which is why we have set out how we achieve this vision, working together as an inclusive team to transform our business in accordance with our core values. We aim to be a firm where everyone can be their authentic selves and recognise that bringing together different perspectives of all backgrounds and life experiences is crucial to enhance our employee’s experience and also being able to deliver an exceptional client experience to all of our clients.
Diversity and Inclusion form a key part of our strategy, and our Diversity and Inclusion Committee has full support and buy-in from all areas of our business. Over the last 12 months, we have held a local schools moot competition, hosted a webinar for individuals interested in following the apprentice solicitor route to qualification, attended many different careers fayres talking about the wide range of career opportunities available in a law firm and successfully become a Disability Confident employer. In our 2022-2023 Employee Engagement Survey, 87% of respondents felt that we are an inclusive employer; however, we recognise from our gender pay gap results that there is more we can do.
We already have a number of initiatives and working practices that support our diversity and inclusion agenda, including:
- Family-friendly policies – Enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption leave pay
- Paid Time Off – empowering employees to take time off they feel they need rather than imposing limits
- Working Policy – empowering our employees to get the work-life blend that works for them, not specifying how many days employees need to work from the office
- Leadership Programmes – Applications are accepted from all employees for each of our three leadership programmes
- Career conversation and support
- Coaching and mentoring.
Over the last 12 months, we have also introduced initiatives, including; menopause sessions for those experiencing symptoms and awareness workshops for managers and all other employees. We have also become a Disability Confident Employer. Over the course of 2023, we intend on rolling out unconscious bias training to all employees, opening up more opportunities for solicitor apprenticeships and revamping our formal leadership programmes. We are also working with some of our junior roles to offer more structured training and career support to help them build their skill set, develop their careers and earning potential. By the end of 2023, we would like every employee to have a Personal Development Plan so we can support them in achieving their career goals.
We are always open to suggestions from our employees on how we can improve and will be working with our Diversity and Inclusion Committee to put an action plan together to help us achieve our aims.