Slaughter and May is taking an active role in the Government-requisitioned 'Report into Women's Employment', published by Denise Kingsmill
Along with Simmons & Simmons, it is the only law firm to express public concern about inequalities within the UK over women's pay and promotion prospects. The report, published on 5 December 2001, states that women who work full time earn only 81 per cent of full-time male earnings. Respondents consisted of UK companies, public sector bodies, trade unions and voluntary organisations. Slaughters partner Laura Carstensen and senior partner Tim Clark are working internally on the gender gap dilemma. Half of the firm's trainee recruits are female, but only 16 out of 114 partners are women. Women lawyers at Slaughters are far less likely than their male counterparts to make it to equity level. This is "for reasons which we do not properly understand yet", said Clark in the report. "The lost opportunity cost to the firm of losing these talented people may be immense - and the lost personal opportunity to the individuals is also to be regretted." Over the course of the next few months, Slaughters will review women's pay and employment within the firm in order to reshape future policy, ahead of the Govern-ment's own proposals to review the situation.