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Posted by on in Gender Discrimination
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Female Solicitors Suffer From Gender Pay Gap

Female solicitors are effectively working for free from August to the end of the year in comparison to the salary received by male lawyers according to a recent study.

The findings, which come from a Law Society of Scotland showed that the female gender gap in Scotland could be as much as 42% with the average full-time and part-time salaries for males and females differing greatly, especially as careers progressed.

Female Solicitors Underpaid

The findings state that from August females are effectively working for nothing in comparison to males, with many equality groups and organisations condemning the news, especially as many firms take on equal pay cases but do not apply it in their own practice.

Janet Hood, convener of the Society’s equality and diversity committee, said the pay gap reflected “very badly on what is otherwise a modern and forward-thinking profession’, with some female solicitors ‘effectively working for free for five months of the year”.

She also condemned the fact that law firms and companies working in the sector were failing to deal with equal pay and female employment as well as other sectors. She said:”Quite simply, it is not something we can afford to ignore, for either ethical or business reasons.

“Many government and other organisations sourcing legal services also include equality criteria as part of their tendering processes. If law firms are not taking steps to ensure that they are meeting these, they could be adversely affected.”

Study Findings

The report found that many women were paid a similar amount to males when first starting at a company. However, it was only after their career began to progress that salaries truly began to differ. The survey found that salaries between males and females in law firms differed between 2-38 percent with the later stages of employment proving to have the bigger gap.

Females from the age of 36 and over were paid a lower salary than males with female members of staff being more prevalent in lower and middle salary brackets. However, males tended to dominate the higher salary brackets. The study found that women tended to work in middle employment roles with males tending to gain promotions quicker. The study found that there was a gap of 32% for solicitors who have been qualified for 21-30 years, and 21% for those qualified for 31 years or more. However, the study showed that this was due to lower male earnings in these age groups, rather than increased pay for women.

Pay Gap

Although much is being done in some sectors to eradicate the gender pay gap and female employment is improving, there is still an issue in many areas regarding pay grades and the glass ceiling for females. If you believe you are being underpaid, harassed or suffering from sexual discrimination or underpayment based on gender you could be able to obtain compensation and get the salary you deserve.

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