In April 2017, the Government introduced new gender pay gap (GPG) transparency regulations, which are designed to encourage large employers to take informed action to close their GPG where one exists. These regulations require an estimated 9,000 UK employers across the private, public and social sectors to report their GPG data. In compiling our figures, we have included all of our UK partners.

Our firm is meritocratic, so men and women with the same performance and experience in equivalent roles are paid equally.

But we do have a gender pay gap because of the disproportionately high number of men in senior roles. This means that when we take an average of hourly rates across the whole office, women are paid 24% less than men (this falls to 14% when you take the median), because women are outnumbered by men at senior levels.

When we look at bonus pay, our average gender pay gap rises to 76% (with a median of 52%). Again, this is because there are many more men at senior levels.

Put simply, there are not enough women in senior positions in our UK office and across our firm, and this is why we are seeing this disparity in both hourly rates and bonus payments.

Greater gender parity is a real priority for the firm and for society more broadly. For more than 15 years, we have been publishing research that advocates greater gender diversity in the workplace. Our findings are unequivocal. Gender equality is not just a moral and social issue; it is also important to the United Kingdom’s future economic growth. Our new Diversity Matters report, launching in January 2018, builds on this research, demonstrating that having more women in executive positions boosts a company’s bottom line. On a macro level, as our 2016 UK Power of Parity report shows, bridging the gender pay gap in the United Kingdom could increase GDP by £150 billion in 2025. So this is something that we have to get right.

Vivian Hunt, Managing Partner of our UK and Ireland office, explains why gender parity is a priority in McKinsey’s 2017 Gender Pay Gap Report.

What are we doing about it?

1. Making parity a priority

Gender parity has been a priority for several years, and we are committed to making significant progress by 2020—reaching a target of 40% female consultants, including 30% female partners and 15% female senior partners.

2. Parity in recruiting

We know we have a big challenge ahead of us to achieve gender parity in our senior leadership, but we are leading from the front in recruiting high-performing women. We run a number of programmes and initiatives to attract talented female applicants, including our Women as Future Leaders network, unconscious-bias training for all interviewers, and ensuring female colleagues are visible at all stages of the recruitment process.

Our efforts are paying off. In 2017, over 40% of new consultants recruited are women. We are proud to have been featured in Business in the Community’s Times Top 50 Employers for Women list for the past 11 years. But, equally important, these steps have allowed us to build a strong pipeline of women. We hope that the parity we are achieving in our recruitment will lead to greater parity at senior levels over the next few years.

3. Exciting, developing, and retaining talented women

The real question is, having recruited fantastic women, how do we retain them so that they advance to the most senior levels? How do we ensure that our female consultants can picture themselves having a successful, balanced, long-term career at the firm?

We are doing this in a number of ways. We have introduced targeted programmes for future leaders like our Women’s Leadership Workshop and our Pathway to Partner programme. Open discussions about barriers and trade-offs are part of the solution and we connect high-performing men and women, inside and outside the firm, to discuss the issues that really matter to them. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture that helps all our colleagues achieve their full potential and build the skills and capabilities they need to succeed.

We are far from having all the answers—or delivering the full results we aspire to—but our understanding of what’s holding back progress, and of how to accelerate it, is growing. Our gender-pay-gap numbers are a timely reminder that we still have some way to go, but we are encouraged by the progress we have already made and by the desire we have to get this right.

UK gender pay gap report

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