Publishing Ethnicity Pay Gap data will drive equality and accountability

Kate Richardson-Moore, Global Head of Talent and Engagement at Linklaters, discusses why the firm chose to publish its Ethnicity Pay gap data this year and steps being taken to achieve progress towards diversity & inclusion.

As part of our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan, we’ve set ambitious global diversity goals in five key priority areas: gender, social mobility, race and ethnicity, LGBT and age and life stage. We are working hard to keep up the momentum of proactive steps towards achieving progress in all our priority areas, and in 2018 we kicked off a number of initiatives to drive our focus on the retention and progression of minority ethnic talent.

Why report?
Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people are under-represented in business and especially in management roles. Around 12.5% of the UK population are BAME, yet they hold just 6% of top management positions. Closing this representation gap is an urgent challenge as the UK's BAME population is set to grow to 20% by 20301 and businesses are missing out on the talent they need.
 
Transparency drives equality and accountability, and we took the view that voluntarily reporting on Ethnicity Pay including partners will help us understand the current situation, increase awareness amongst partners and our people, and inform future plans.
 
We participated in the government consultation on ethnicity pay reporting to help inform government policy in this area. While we await the outcome of this consultation, we followed the same principles of the statutory gender pay reporting to find our Ethnicity Pay gap, basing the calculation on diversity data that our employees have disclosed voluntarily.

We’re ambitious in our plans to achieve equality at Linklaters, and the ethnicity pay gap is one measure to support us with this. We know it’s not perfect, but we think it’s a good start. As this reporting relies on our people voluntarily disclosing their ethnicity, we have included the 83%of our UK population who have disclosed their ethnicity in the calculations.

Based on those who have voluntarily disclosed their ethnicity, approximately 21% of our UK population is Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME). Our analysis shows that our BAME colleagues are represented broadly equally across all four pay quartiles, but there are a smaller number in the most senior roles.

We’re confident that we pay our people fairly for equivalent roles, regardless of their gender or ethnicity, but we know we need to do more to attract, retain and progress diverse talent, delivering on our strategy and creating real change.
 
So, what’s next?
We will encourage more people at the firm to provide their diversity data to better inform the numbers when we report next year. From a recruitment and talent perspective, we’re applying a more rigorous approach to the diversity of candidates at all levels during our recruitment processes, partner elections and promotion to senior leadership positions, and ensuring ethnic minorities have greater development and sponsorship opportunities through our talent programmes. These include INspire, our new minority ethnic talent programme, which supports talented BAME staff in advancing their careers and provides an opportunity for those in management positions to improve their race fluency, race confidence and race thinking, helping to drive culture change in the firm.
 
We’re also continuing to focus on developing our leaders’ understanding of different people’s perspectives and experiences, and their responsibilities to create an inclusive culture. This is through initiatives such as our Diverse Voices reverse mentoring scheme with mentors from under-represented groups including BAME colleagues.
 
 
References
 
1. Chartered Management Insitute (2017) Delivering Diversity: Race and minority in the mangement pipeline. Available at -https://www.managers.org.uk/~/media/Files/PDF/Insights/CMI_BAM_Deliverin...