Graduate pay gap a surprise to law firm

18 January 2013

Figures recently released by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency showing an average reported difference in the starting salary of Australian female and male law graduates of almost $5,000 have come as a surprise to the HR Manager of a leading Australian law firm.

HopgoodGanim’s Alison Schultz says it’s a concern there is a perceived discrepancy between graduates in the legal sector overall.

“Our firm offers all graduates the same pay scale regardless of gender, and ensure that equality continues as our people move up the ranks.”

According to Ms Schultz, HopgoodGanim is also one of the few law firms to still offer a two-year graduate program, in which trainees spend a year each in two practice areas of their choice.

“We’ve seen strong interest in our graduate program from both males and females over the last few years, and have been steadily increasing the number of trainees we take on each year to support this interest and ongoing growth across the firm.”

Ms Schultz says that overall, law graduates are generally more concerned with exposure to quality clients, ongoing development opportunities and a transparent career path, rather than the pay rates offered.

“The results of the survey are a surprise because there really is no reason to pay graduates different salaries based on gender,” she says.

Esther Cohen, Senior Communications Advisor
Tel: 07 3024 0192