Female lawyers earn a third less than males

Female lawyers receive just 68 per cent of male lawyers’ total remuneration, while the average bonus given to a woman equals just half that of men’s bonuses, research by recruiter Laurence Simons has revealed.

The research also showed that while the legal profession is nearly as diverse as the UK as a whole, women still struggle to make partner, despite half of associates being female. While 48 per cent of associates are women, just 28 per cent of partners are female.

The research, conducted by polling 998 UK lawyers, also reveals that 18 per cent of associates come from ethnic minority backgrounds while four per cent are lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). These figures continue to partnership level.

Overall, nine per cent of lawyers are Asian, a statistic which is mirrored at partnership level. Just 7.5 per cent of the UK’s population is Asian. Two per cent of lawyers are black, compared to 3.5 per cent of the UK population, but this figures shrinks to one per cent of partners.

Curiously, two per cent of lawyers have mixed heritage, a figure which climbs to four per cent at partnership level. Of the UK population, 2.2 per cent of people are of mixed heritage.

Four per cent of lawyers identify as LGB, rising from 1.7 per cent in 2011. In larger firms, four per cent of partners are LGB, while in smaller firms that statistic rises to five per cent.