Thorntons Solicitors has marked the gender pay gap reporting season by claiming a 13.6% reduction over the past five years in its mean hourly pay gap between men and women.

Since 2017 the mean hourly gap at the Dundee-headquartered practice, covering 566 people including 70 partners, has reduced from 29.66% to 16.11% as at the snapshot date of 5 April 2021.

The gender balance of roles across the firm’s pay quartiles has also improved, and the firm retained its 50/50 gender split for its leadership team.

 Its annual gender pay report details numerous steps being taken to promote equality and diversity across the business, including introducing unconscious bias training for its decision makers, the creation of an equality, diversity and inclusion focus group, and continued development of its promotions board to include career guidance, mentoring and coaching.

Managing partner Lesley Larg commented: "We’re proud of the progress we are making towards reducing the firm’s gender pay gap, which is a historic feature of the formerly male-dominated legal sector.

"We’re pleased to see the gender balance of roles across the various quartiles of the business has improved and we are confident men and women in the firm are being paid equally for doing equivalent jobs. It’s telling that our most recent trio of internal partner promotions were all women, and our leadership team has maintained gender parity.

"Having said that, we still have much work to do. Like many other businesses we are dealing with complex societal issues that won’t be solved overnight. Most of our colleagues who carry out administrative roles within the firm are women, and as these roles are generally paid less across most industries, this is a substantial contributor to our pay gap. We’re working hard to attract a diverse range of job applicants to reduce occupational segregation and develop women in our workforce to reach our highest paid roles.

"We’re starting to see these measures make a difference and we are hopeful for the future."

Thorntons has also appointed a member of its board as an equality lead, responsible for implementing the Law Society of Scotland’s equality standards as well as monitoring progress.