The Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA’s) gender pay gap has widened since the start of the pandemic, according to new figures from the trade body.
On average, men were paid 11.5 per cent more than women in 2021, and received 23.2 per cent larger bonuses.
By comparison, men only received 10.6 per cent more pay in 2019, before the start of the pandemic, and only received 12.8 per cent bigger bonuses.
The figures show that women are more likely to work in the jobs that have the lowest hourly earnings.
In 2021, 68 per cent of Law Society and SRA employees in the lowest paid jobs were women, compared to 61 per cent of the workforce, and 54 per cent of those paid the highest hourly wages.
Meanwhile, men were overrepresented in the top paying jobs, and less likely to work in jobs with the lowest quartile hourly pay.
Nonetheless, the Law Society figures show the gender pay gap fell between 2020 and 2021.
The figures come as major corporate law firms have begun offering increasingly eye-watering salaries as they seek to attract and retain legal talent.
Work to be done
The Law Society figures come as figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the UK’s gender pay gap has gotten narrower.
The UK’s pay gap has dropped from 17.4 per cent before the pandemic to 15.4 per cent last year.
In 2021, the UK’s gender pay gap amongst all full-time employees was also smaller than the legal sector’s pay gap.
Across all of the UK’s full-time employees, the gender pay gap narrowed from 9.0 per in 2019 to 7.9 per cent last year, the ONS figures show.
In a statement, a spokesperson for The Law Society, said: “Around 61% of our workforce is female, with women continuing to be well represented across all pay quartiles.”
“There is, however, still work to be done to ensure the gender balance in the upper middle and top quartiles better reflects the gender split in the rest of the group.”