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8 October 2021 | Business, News

Gender Pay-Gap Widening at Bar

Despite pressure from the government and regulatory bodies, and increase public awareness and outrage, the gender pay gap has been increasing across industries over the last few years.  This gap has widened considerably when it comes to the legal profession.

A study by The Bar Council shows that the average fee income in 202 for male barristers was just under £90,000, with female barristers earning less than £55,000, a difference of around 38%.  The absolute difference in income between 2000 and 2020 has increased by around £17,000, but the relative difference has remained consistently around 40% over those 20 years.

The difference in fee income varies between areas, ranging from women working in arbitration or mediation earning 57% less, to those working in licensing earning 67%.  However, in family work relating to children, female barristers earn more than their male counterparts, but by just 4%.  By comparison, in the general population on average women earn around 13% less than men in the same job.

According to the Bar Council the number of women entering the profession has grown by 50% since 2000, and many practices are seeing a proportional increase in the number of women joining.  However, despite women accounting for around half of pupils for more than 20 years, many leave the profession while men continue to out-earn their female colleagues.

In other sectors, men are paid more with that gap continues to grow in many, particularly law and finance.

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