Law firms short-changing women trainees

Aug 29 2003 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Female trainee solicitors are paid less than their male counterparts, a new report has revealed.

The latest Law Society Annual Statistical Report shows sixty percent of new trainees were women but there remains a discrepancy in starting salaries for men and women trainees.

On average, male trainees earn over twenty thousand pounds a year - more than thirteen hundred pounds higher than the average for female trainees. In Greater London the disparity is £1,400.

Central London firms that including some of the biggest firms in the country are the least discriminatory, but still pay men almost £400 a year more.

The survey also found that the number of trainees from ethnic minorities is growing, with one in five now black or Asian.

The Law Society, which carried out the research, warned that it would act against any firms who were found guilty of discrimination.

Law Society chief executive Janet Paraskeva said: "It is encouraging that increasing numbers of women are training to be solicitors. It is clearly important that the profession reflects the society it serves. However, it is disturbing to see that women still face inequality in relation to their pay.

"The Solicitors Anti-Discrimination Rule prohibits unfair or unreasonable discrimination against staff on grounds of gender and we will investigate thoroughly all allegations of prejudice."