Do female solicitors from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds face gender and race pay gap?

- Ashwinder Gill is a Senior Solicitor at ABV Solicitor’s specialising in Fraud and Complex Crime

The Law Society’s PC Holder’s Survey 2019 shows “a large gender pay gap exists among PC Holders”. The gender pay gap is an all too familiar and depressing theme. It has been over 100 years since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919, which enabled women to become lawyers for the first time – how can we have come so far and yet not far enough?

From 2017, it became mandatory for employers with 250 or more employees to report their gender pay gap data. This is a welcome legal requirement, as transparency and accountability are key factors to achieving progress. However, the 250-employee threshold for reporting is too high and does not capture a large number of firms. There is of course nothing stopping firms from voluntarily publishing this data, but many still choose not to do so.

Last year the Black Lives Matter movement gathered global momentum following the heart-breaking killing of George Floyd. It was painful to be confronted, yet again, by the reality of the world we still live in. However, important conversations were re-ignited about the examples of racism, discrimination and inequality that are still embedded into the fabric of our society. The topics of white privilege, white fragility and unconscious bias were being readily discussed in the mainstream media, along with the realisation that the fight for race equality is a collective cause and everyone (no matter their race) can play their part.