Deloitte, PwC and EY Cave to Pressure on U.K. Gender Pay Gap

(Bloomberg) -- Deloitte, PwC and EY all caved. Under pressure over how they compiled their gender pay gaps in the U.K., the three companies agreed to revise their figures to include high-earning partners.

On Wednedsay, Deloitte’s British division said its female staff are paid 43.2 percent less on average than male employees. In July, the accounting and consulting firm published a mean salary gap for its employees of just 18.2 percent, excluding equity partners. Deloitte "listened to the calls for firms such as ours to do more in how we report gender pay data," David Sproul, the firm’s senior U.K. executive, said in a statement.

EY originally reported a gap of 20 percent, excluding partners, but has revised that figure to 38 percent when they are included. PwC said Thursday it would republish its gender pay report, including partner income, in the “next few days.”

"The response is due to political and moral pressure and a desire to be seen to be acting as speedily as possible,” said Charles Cotton, senior policy adviser at CIPD, an organization for U.K. human-resources professionals. “Their action turns attention to law firms and other partnerships, including architects and some of the other large accountancy firms," he said.

Companies with more than 250 U.K. employees are being required to provide authorities with data on what they pay male and female staff by April 4. Professional-services firms had previously argued that as owners of the business, partners didn’t need to be included in the data. That prompted outrage from members of both main political parties, with Conservative lawmaker Nicky Morgan accusing them of exploiting a “loophole.”

PwC said that distributable profit per partner in the U.K. is 652,000 pounds ($905,000). Of the firm’s 889 partners, 722 are male and 167 are female.

The revised figures show the gender pay gaps at accounting and consulting firms aren’t that different from some of the big British banks, which are publicly traded and don’t have partners to exclude from the figures. Barclays Plc has said its corporate and investment bank paid female staff an average of 48 percent less than male employees.

“These calculations again serve as a stark reminder that we don’t have enough women in senior roles – this is not about unequal pay, but the shape of our firm,” said Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte U.K.

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