Russell Kennedy’s commitment to addressing the Gender Pay Gap

Russell Kennedy has a strong commitment to gender equality and recognises the importance of having a gender diverse workforce.  The firm has a Gender Equality Strategy that provides a framework for reviewing and assessing workplace policies and practices through a lens of gender equity.

The Strategy holds the firm accountable to promote and support gender diversity and inclusion throughout the career lifecycle of all its people. It aims to ensure that gender, among other attributes and dimensions, does not act as a barrier to equality of access and opportunity.

The Strategy positions the firm to achieve success by enhancing leadership capability and prioritising four gender equality metrics:

  1. Flexible Workplace Culture: Building a flexible workplace culture that enables staff to balance work and life responsibilities while delivering successful business outcomes.
  2. Gender Composition:  Improving the diversity of representation of women in leadership positions, including taking a broader view of the makeup of groups and positions.
  3. Gender Pay Equity:  Continuing commitment to equal pay (like-for-like pay gaps) and addressing the gender pay gap (overall, firm-wide pay gap).
  4. Capability & Education:  Developing staff capability and confidence in gender equality, including intersectionality, to build an inclusive culture.
Russell Kennedy has a long history of prioritising Gender Pay Equity.  Each year, a Gender Pay Gap analysis is conducted in addition to the WGEA Compliance report.  It is important to highlight that pay gaps are not influenced by gender alone, and when gender intersects with other characteristics of a person’s identity, there may be a multiplier effect of disadvantage. The analysis includes other intersectional data such as age.


How is the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) Calculated?

The GPG is a simple calculation that always stays the same.  It is the difference between the average pay for men and women, expressed as a percentage of men’s pay.  It is not a reflection of the difference in pay between men and women in the same roles.

We acknowledge that there are people who identify as non-binary.  We are not as yet able to reflect this in our statement or GPG due to the number of our people who identify as non-binary.

What is the Russell Kennedy GPG?

  • The WGEA calculated 2022-23 GPG for median total remuneration is 24.8% (22.9% industry average), and for median base salary is 21.8% (20.8% industry average).  This data reflects information as of 30 June 2022.
  • The April 2023 internal firm GPG for median total remuneration is 21.45%, and for median base salary, it is 21.42%.

Russell Kennedy gender composition by pay quartile:



The firm gender composition by pay quartile is similar to the industry comparison results.

Key points

  • The Russell Kennedy gender composition traditionally consists of 70% women and 30% men with a 5% variation.
  • The firm’s strategy to improve the diversity of women in leadership positions is continuing to improve, with women occupying 47% of principal positions.
  • When comparing our workforce composition by role to the industry data, we have 10% more women in our key management personnel positions (equity principals), 7% more women in management roles and 8% more in non-manager roles.
  • Our gender composition by employment status (full-time, part-time etc) is similar to the industry comparison.
  • Our Board composition of 33% women is better than the industry average of 24%.
  • We have identified reasons for our GPG.  The primary factor is occupational segregation.This is where more women are in lower-paid roles, typically legal support and business services positions.  Whereas there is a higher number of men in senior legal positions, which attract higher remuneration.
  • This imbalance impacts total remuneration, as a higher proportion of men in legal roles are eligible for variable pay opportunities (bonuses).
  • The GPG has decreased significantly over the years, reflecting our continued commitment to pay equity through the Gender Equality Strategy and Remuneration Strategy.

Action plan

  • Completion of the annual pay gap analysis (WGEA Compliance Report).
  • Conduct an annual gender pay equity audit by gender and with an intersectionality lens.
  • Regularly review Remuneration Strategy and approaches to ensure alignment with pay equity for all genders.
  • Review work distribution, process reviews and technology innovation to address structural imbalances.

Review recruitment practices to attract more men into legal support and business services positions. This will assist in changing of the cultural drivers contributing to the GPG.

Russell Kennedy is committed to closing the firm wide GPG.  We recognise that we still have more to do, and we remain committed to further progress.