Jessica Fino 13 Mar 2018 04:16pm

PwC reveals highest gender pay gap of Big Four

PwC has joined the rest of the Big Four and updated its gender pay gap figures to include equity partners

The updated gender pay gap – 43.8% - is the highest among the Big Four, just ahead of Deloitte (43.2%), and followed by KPMG (42%) and EY (38.1%).

PwC also revealed its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) pay gap for employees and partners stands at 35.9%.

The firm’s mean gender pay gap for partners is 17.1%, and its mean BAME partner pay gap is 5.4%.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC, said, “The increase in our gender and BAME pay gaps when partners are included highlights our need for more women and ethnic minorities in senior positions, including within the partnership.

“To be clear, we pay our women and men equally for doing the same or equivalent jobs across our business. The issue is one of senior representation rather than pay inequality and it is not good enough.”

PwC explained that its partner pay gap was calculated based on total distributable profits, and was not based on full-time equivalent pay, which the firm said had worsened the reported position.

It added that 7.4% of its partners worked less than the standard hours but that this applied to 24% of its female partners, while 3.6% of male partners worked part-time.

The ACAS guidelines on gender pay gap reporting specifically exclude equity partners from the calculations because they are the business owners. As such they receive a profit share that reflects both the job that they do and a return on the equity they have invested in the business.

However, the Big Four firms decided to respond to mounting public pressure and publish their updated figures with partners included in the calculations.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee, had previously said that partners are leaders and role models in their firms and “should know better than to exclude themselves” from the calculations.