Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) paid out 30% less in bonuses to its female employees than its male employees last year, the firm’s gender pay gap data has revealed.

The disparity in bonus payments is contained in a report published by the firm late last year, ahead of an April reporting deadline for all companies employing more than 250 people to submit information about their gender pay gap.

While the data submitted to the government highlights the difference in bonus payouts, as well as a near 20% gender pay gap in average hourly earnings between men and women, the firm’s own additional report also shows that slightly more women then men received a bonus last year.

It states that 77% of female employees were paid a bonus, compared to 71% of men.

In its report, the firm states: “Although women were more likely in our analysis to receive a bonus than men, the bonuses awarded to women tended to be lower because of the nature of their roles.”

HSF said its mean gender pay gap is skewed by the distribution of women and men within different types of roles in the firm. While gaps within each pay quartile are relatively small, the firm has a large proportion of women in the lower and lower-middle quartiles, taking the female mean average down.

It said 22% of women at the firm work in secretarial roles and if you excluded these from the analysis, the mean pay gap would reduce to 8.8%.

The firm, which has a 62:38 split between women and men in its UK employee ranks, last year missed its interim target for female partner representation. The firm had set its sights on a 25% female partnership by May 2017 and 30% by 2019 and, since setting these goals three years ago, the firm has seen its female partner ranks grow by 5%. However, the current figure still stands at 22.5%.

Managing partner for the UK, US and EMEA at the firm, Ian Cox, said: “We welcome the introduction of gender pay gap reporting as an important contributor to transparency, and we are committed to working to reduce or eliminate any gap that exists.

“We are committed to gender diversity and the attraction, promotion and retention of women across all levels of the firm, and we will continue to ensure we attract a diverse pool of candidates to all types of job roles. As part of our ongoing work to foster gender balance across the firm, we monitor the gender impact of our reward processes, and we run a wide variety of initiatives aimed at helping all our employees reach their full potential.”

HSF joins more than 500 employers including CMS, Shoosmiths, easyjet, and PwC in publishing the data.