Alternative legal services provider Elevate says its female employees were paid more on average than men last year.
The female employee head count was paid 3 percent more on average than the total head count for men, and the firm’s management said it is indicative of its commitment to diversity. Chairman Liam Brown said when the company first started in 2011 with a core team of 17, that group almost consisted of a 50/50 gender split, with about one-quarter identifying as LGBT.
Brown said this team make-up was not by design but likely linked to the attraction of the disruptive nature of the firm as a new market player.
“By definition, people who are likely to leave big corporate law departments for an alternative are likely not to be your classic old-school law types,” he told Law.com U.K. affiliate Legal Week.
Currently, the ratio of the firm’s board and global leadership team is 40:60 in favor of men, although the global leadership has a slightly higher male content—63 percent compared with 37 percent women.
In addition, within its global employee workforce, there are fewer women (43 percent), but this varies depending on jurisdiction.
In Europe (which includes the U.K.), the U.S. and the Philippines, Elevate employs more women.
But in its India and Australia bases, the pendulum swings further toward men in terms of head count—71:29 in India and 80:20 in Australia.
However, these figures do not include the company’s latest acquisitions of a legal staffing firm in the U.K., a legal department consulting business in Hong Kong, and an Elevate-like consulting, technology and managed services business known as Yerra Solutions.
“In any areas where there is a pay gap, sometimes that’s a gender gap and sometimes that’s a location gap,” Brown said. “I am not opposed to setting goals if we identify gaps in the business, and there are some areas where we can improve.”