Legal business

Gender pay gap exists within in-house counsel

Female general in-house counsel make approximately 78 per cent of the average total compensation that their male counterparts make, according to a study by executive search firm BarkerGilmore.

The study, entitled “2018 In-House Counsel Compensation Report,” also found that gaps in average total pay at managing counsel and senior counsel levels, with women making 90 per cent and 89 per cent respectively of what their male counterparts made. But despite the disparity in total compensation, female in-house counsel in 2018 experienced a base pay increase equivalent to that of male in-house counsel, 3.8 per cent.

Interestingly, Bob Barker, managing partner of BarkerGilmore said there does not appear to be any disparity in job offer compensation between men and women. Rather, the disparity appears to “grow up through an organization,” added Barker.

Other findings by the report, which surveyed 1,700 individuals, include:

• The median annual salary increase rate for all positions across industries dipped to 3.8 per cent, down 0.5 per cent from the previous year, with the life sciences sector experiencing the highest median increase rate of 5.2 per cent from 2016 to 2017.

• 41 per cent of all respondents believe their compensation is below or significantly below that of their peers in other organizations, with labor & employment lawyers and litigators reporting the greatest dissatisfaction. Those in the energy and banking/finance practice areas express the highest levels of satisfaction with over 24 per cent reporting compensation above or significantly above average.

• A staggering 41 per cent of respondents said they would consider a new position within the next year due to compensation issues.

• Not surprisingly, there is a significant disparity in pay for general counsel at publicly traded companies and those at private ones. Public companies also pay consistently more at all three levels of in-house counsel.

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