A message from John Durkan, Managing Director of Switalskis Solicitors Limited
I am pleased to report there is no significant gender pay gap at Switalskis. Gender pay equality is not something we have purposely set out to achieve at Switalskis, however, I believe it has naturally occurred because we are essentially fair employers. So, although the figures I will set out below reconfirmed to the directors what they thought i.e. there is no gender pay bias at Switalskis, it is not something we are proud of as this should be the pay landscape at Switalskis, if we are fair employers.
The mean pay gap between men and women is 3.41% in the favour of men. However, if you look behind the headline figure, it is clear that there is no gender pay bias at Switalskis. It is also important to note that within our figures that we have included the salaries of all directors as well. Many law firms have resisted disclosing the salaries of partners in their law firms, for two reasons. One, because there is no current legal requirement to do so, and secondly because by disclosing such figures, the gender pay gap significantly increased sometimes to 50% and above, due to fact that male partners generally held the highest paying roles.
In addition, of the law firm gender pay gap reports I have read to date, I have not come across another law firm that has such a low overall mean pay gap between men and women. Most have reported differences of anywhere between 20% – 30% and sometimes much more.
Switalskis is a professional services firm – given this, there are two distinct groups of employees, fee earners and support staff. We have therefore disclosed further data, over and above the legal requirement, to explain our figures. On doing this the results showed that female fee earners on average were paid 6.33% more than males and male support are paid 3.44% more than females. Support staff in legal firms are generally paid less than fee earners, and because we have a high number of female support staff (108) this meant the overall mean pay rate of female staff was 3.41% less than males. This is because the percentage of male support staff as a proportion of total male staff is considerably less than the percentage of female support staff as a proportion of total female staff. We employ 51 males, of which 17 are in support roles i.e. 33%, whereas we employ 199 females, of which 108 are in support roles i.e. 54%.
Female fee earners were generally paid higher than males, because there was a high number of female fee earners in senior roles in the company. Male support were paid slightly more than female support staff, given a high proportion of male support staff are employed in roles such as IT or Accounts, which traditionally in law firms are roles that are paid at a higher rate than secretarial positions, which are generally filled by females.
The full detailed gender pay gap report is also disclosed here.
4th April 2018