MinterEllisonRuddWatts publicises gender and ethnic pay data in NZ first

The firm committed to the move as part of its sustainability strategy

MinterEllisonRuddWatts publicises gender and ethnic pay data in NZ first
Jennifer Hambleton and Isaac Stewart

MinterEllisonRuddWatts has become the first law firm in New Zealand to publicise its gender and ethnic pay gap statistics.

The firm committed to the move as part of its sustainability strategy and in line with its involvement in the Global Women’s Champions for Change movement as a founding partner. The pay gap findings are as follows:

  • Employee gender pay gap: 8.0%
  • Legal staff gender pay gap: -11.1%
  • Employee ethnicity pay gap: Māori: 12.4%, Pasifika: 4.1%

MinterEllisonRuddWatts presented the gender pay gap as “a percentage measure of the difference between the median hourly earnings of all women and the median hourly earnings of all,” the firm explained. Meanwhile, the ethnicity pay gap is presented as “a percentage measure of the difference between the median hourly earnings for everyone identifying as a specific ethnic group and the median hourly earnings of all other employees,” with the baseline being all other ethnicities.

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“Our gender pay gap reflects the higher number of women in lower paid administrative roles, which we are addressing by reviewing roles and providing career progression opportunities. Our ethnicity pay gaps reflect the progress we are making towards achieving our diversity and inclusion recruitment objectives,” chief executive Andrew Poole said. “Our ethnicity pay gaps reflect the progress we are making towards achieving our diversity and inclusion recruitment objectives.”

While findings from Statistics NZ’s 2021 August report indicated that the gender pay gap in New Zealand was 9.1%, he pointed out that there was more work to be done to progress diversity and inclusion.

“We understand the power of diversity in business and how it achieves better outcomes for our clients and our firm. Creating an inclusive culture supports diversity and better decision making and advice at all levels of organisations. We are reporting our results as it is, quite simply, the right thing to do,” MinterEllisonRuddWatts chair Sarah Sinclair said.

The firm has also provided its pay gap findings to New Zealand pay gap registry Mind the Gap.

New corporate partners

MinterEllisonRuddWatts also welcomed two new corporate partners to its ranks earlier this month. Jennifer Hambleton was elevated to the role after six years as a senior associate, while Isaac Stewart made the jump from Russell McVeagh.

Hambleton focuses on competition and consumer law, particularly merger clearances, enforcement actions and disputes. Stewart operates mainly in the energy sector, providing guidance on matters involving takeovers, M&A and capital markets.

Both partners are based in Auckland. The appointments came into effect on 2 May, and are subject to approval from the New Zealand Law Society.

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