Female Employees at Herbert Smith Freehills Paid Less Than Male Counterparts
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Summary: Herbert Smith Freehills shared that they paid female employees 19% less in wages than men in the law firm. 

Herbert Smith Freehills released their 2017 gender pay gap report, and it was revealed that the prominent UK law firm pays women 30% less in bonuses than its male employees. When it came to hourly average wages, women were given 19% less than the men.


HSF said that this discrepancy was caused by men and women taking on different roles in the company and that their numbers were actually better than their competitors.

“Based on our analysis, we are confident that men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs across our firm. We are also confident men and women have an equal opportunity to earn a bonus,” HSF stated. “Our mean gender pay gap is smaller than the mean gap for the UK legal sector, which stands at 24%. However, our median gap of 38.8% is higher than the legal sector median, which stands at 25.7%.”

In the U.K., employers with over 250 employees are required to publish data on the gender pay gap. The firm stated their gap was caused by females mostly occupying secretarial roles or roles in the lower and middle quartiles, which dragged their overall average pay for women down. However, the firm said that the genders were paid similarly when in similar roles. See the pay quartiles below:

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Graph courtesy of Herbert Smith Freehills.

Ian Cox, a managing partner for HSF, and Julie Cupit, a HR director, said that the law firm is committed to eliminating the gender pay gap.

“We monitor the gender impact of our reward processes – a practice that plays a fundamental role in helping us identify and, where possible, improve our gender pay gap. This includes conducting a rigorous review throughout the organization to ensure that decisions about pay are made fairly and in keeping with our commitment to diversity,” Cox and Cupit said. “As part of our ongoing work to foster gender balance across the firm, we will continue to ensure we attract a diverse pool of candidates to all types of job roles.”

The law firm said that it is comprised 62% women, and that of the women at the firm 22% take on secretarial roles. They stated that if the data excludes secretarial wages, then the pay gap is 8.8% and the median changes to 13.6%.

What do you think of the results of Herbert Smith Freehills’ study? Let us know in the comments below.


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