Accountancy and consulting giant Deloitte has reported figures revealing women at the firm earn 43% less than men on average.
The company emphasised that it paid women and men performing the same roles equally and that the figure was particularly high because it included the earnings of those at the top end of the business – the partners, 80% of whom were men.
The inclusion of partners meant the company’s mean average pay gap was 43.2%, dramatically up from the 18.2% figure it had reported in July.
But its median pay gap figure was 15.2%, down from 15.3% in October. Deloitte stated it was trying to increase the proportion of women partners to 25% by 2020.
This week, the chair of the Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan, objected to firms using the “loophole” of not reporting the earnings of partners, despite government guidelines stating that partners in firms do not have to be included in the data.
Big accountancy firms have started including partner earnings voluntarily in gender pay reporting and say they are committed to reducing the gap and increasing diversity and equality.
David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte UK, said: “Our role in society means we have a responsibility to lead on critical issues such as inclusion and diversity. Going forward, we commit not only to publishing the data required by the gender pay legislation, but also to publishing our gender earnings gap on an annual basis.”
Gender pay gap reporting
Deloitte is the second of the big four accountancy firms to report updated figures. EY was the first to publish figures that took the earnings of its partners into account. It timed its release of the figures just prior to International Women’s Day yesterday.
When EY included partners in its calculations, its mean pay gap rose to 38.1%, and its median to 19.5%. That was up from the mean of 19.7% and median of 14.8% when it published figures in October, again accounted for by the addition of partner data.
EY chair Steve Varley said that publishing the data was “another step forward to drive even greater transparency and to help focus minds on improving diversity within the profession”.
He added: “The pay gap legislation is more than a compliance issue for us as a firm. It will help us continue to understand what more we have to do, to create a better gender and ethnic balance at our most senior levels.”
Varley was also keen for there to be more agreement on the methodology behind the figures. “We will also be sharing our methodology with government and making it freely available to other organisations, as there isn’t currently an agreed methodology for how owners of businesses should report their data.”
Deloitte’s managing partner for talent at Deloitte UK Emma Codd said that the pay gap data was a “stark reminder” that there were not enough women in senior roles and that the issue was “not about unequal pay but the shape of our firm”.
A spokeswoman for PwC said that it would be publishing its pay gap figures to include partners “within the next few days”.
KPMG said it would also update its data to include partner earnings.