There is slightly better news for female lawyers in assistant/associate roles with the gender pay gap decreasing significantly since 2014.
However at more senior levels, there is still a lot of work to do to change the stigma that women who have taken maternity leave are worth less to their employers than their male counterparts.
Men are earning on average nearly 20% more than women, latest Law Society research suggests, despite the gender pay gap falling to its narrowest since 2008. A survey of private practice solicitors’ salaries shows that male salaried partners at the top end of the earnings bracket make as much as £60,000 more than women in the same category. Male equity partners can earn as much as £30,000 more than women at the top end of the salary bracket. The gap is lowest at assistant/associate level, with men earning £4,000 more. However, the survey states that since 2000, women assistant/associates’ median earnings have increased by 18.6%, compared to a 10.2% jump for men. ‘Upper quartile’ earnings have increased by a third for women, compared to 9.5% for men.