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Gender Pay Disparity in the Legal Industry.

Did you miss our 'Addressing the Gender Pay Gap' webinar? These were the key takeaways for both potential employers and candidates.

By Clare Beresford
Gender Pay Disparity in the Legal Industry.
Gender Pay Disparity in the Legal Industry.

Gender pay disparity in the legal industry is a systemic, global issue. Participants of our recent webinar were shocked to find that disparity levels can reach up to 44% in U.S. private practice law firm and that regardless of industry, it is estimated that it will take 257 years to close the global gender pay gap. The gender pay gap isn't just a female issue. It is a business issue, and it is a human issue. These were some tips and key takeaways for both employers and potential candidates from our CEO, Clare Beresford.

1. Pay Transparency:

Publish compensation on job adverts. Allow potential candidates to see how salary compares to benchmarks in similar roles, and avoid ambiguity when candidates are reviewing opportunities. As experts in executive search, we will always advocate for our candidates and can help to advise when it comes to fair pay and market rates. 

Be upfront and honest about your compensation expectations in interviews. Know your worth and the value you can bring to an organisation. 

Have frank and open conversations with your work colleagues. It is impossible to advocate for yourself without knowing what salary bands exist in your organisation. If you're in a Human Resources position, striving to create a culture of open and honest conversations between colleagues and their managers is crucial.

2. Compensation negotiation:

What is the grading of the role? Ensure you do sufficient research ahead of time on the role and assess how it measures up in relation to your experience, attributes, and what market average compensation. Be prepared to highlight where you match the requirements and give examples.

Avoid requiring or providing a salary range in compensation negotiations. Know what your bottom line is ahead of going into an interview and ensure you've done your research. When asked about your expectations, give a specific figure and not a range.

Approach the negotiation as a conversation. Match the communication style of the interviewer. Going into the negotiation with it framed as a conversation you would have with a friend can also help mitigate overextension from confidence gaps. 

3. Performance reviews: 

Use the performance review to advocate for yourself. In general, women tend to use 'we' when referring to accomplishments, including their team. Men, on the other hand, tend to use I when referring to their achievements. When advocating for yourself, use first-person, I. 

Benchmark your performance against your responsibilities. Use your role description to measure your performance and where and when you may have gone above and beyond. Again, use examples. 

Enlist the help of mentors and allies. Sometimes to address biases in performance reviews, you need a more senior team member to advocate for your performance. If you don't have a male ally in your organisation, think about who is more senior than you who could be a potential ally. If you're an HR practitioner, encourage and inform the senior male members of your team to act as allies. Interested in what it means to be a male ally? Click below to learn about the six practical steps to becoming an active male ally in your organisation.

4. Lumina Spark psychometric testing:

Know yourself. Lumina Spark is a psychometric tool which will objectively map out your strengths and overextensions.

Remove emotions from the conversation. Use your Lumina Spark Portrait to have honest, objective conversations about performance. Speaking in a common language about strengths and overextensions helps provide context to actions.

Use expert advice. Most of our team of Lumina practitioners come from legal backgrounds and can help coach candidates placed in senior legal roles. Contact us here to learn more about our Lumina Learning services.

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