At trainee entry level, the gender split is broadly 50:50, but the firm has 64.5% of men in senior management, 64.5% at associate director and 75.9% at director level. However, there are 56% of women in the firm’s first grade bracket.
The 26.5% gender pay gap is higher than at the Big Four and some mid-tier rivals.
KPMG’s gap is the highest among the Big Four at 22.3%, followed by EY (19.7%) PwC (13.7%) and Deloitte (18.2%). But the financial services sector gender pay gap is even higher at 31%.
Grant Thornton said that on a gross basic full time equivalent basis, the gap is only of 1%, meaning men and women in similar roles are being rewarded consistently.
Stephanie Hasenbos-Case, leader of people and client experience at Grant Thornton, said, “You only need to look at the gaps reported so far, both in our sector and beyond, to see that the system isn’t fit for purpose.
“We are confident that where people in our firm are doing the same or similar work, or work of equal value, they are equally rewarded.
“Adjusted pay figures, including ours, are evidence that the underlying issue is not just about equal pay but gender imbalance at the more senior higher paid levels.”
The firm set a target of decreasing its pay gap to 18-20% by 2020, and to increase the percentage of female partners from 16% to 22%.
It also wants to increase the number of parents getting back to work after a longer parental leave from 66% to 86%, raise the number of promotions following return to work after extended parental leave as well as the percentage of flexible workers from 14% to 20%, and approvals of flexible working requests by 50%.