The Law Policy Centre at King's Think Tank Society has organised this expert panel, in order to explore issues surrounding the gender pay gap. The first item on the agenda will be maternity leave, and we will explore the possibility of implementing a scheme of compulsory paternity leave, as in Sweden. The discussion will then move to subjects such as quoats, targets and publication of salary information.
We are honoured to have a distinguished panel in attendance, comprised of:
Her Honour Judge Anuja Dhir - Judge Dhir currently sits on the Old Bailey bench. She was a barrister at 5 Paper Buildings, took Silk in 2010 and in 2012 she was appointed Circuit Judge to sit at the Crown Court at Woolwich. She was previously a Recorder in the Crown Court and is a bencher of Gray's Inn. Judge Dhir prosecuted and defended cases involving serious crime and fraud and was also an expert in Human Rights Law. She has taken maternity leave three times and believes issues surrounding the gender pay gap should be addressed more often.
Her Honour Judge Georgina Kent - Judge Kent has a longstanding career in law having been called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in November 1989. At the start of her career she practised as a barrister in general common law and later specialised in civil actions against the police, civil jury trials, inquests and police misconduct. Judge Kent was appointed a Circuit Judge in 2009, sitting first at Isleworth Crown Court whilst since 2011 she has held seat at Kingston Crown Court, specialising in criminal law. She has four children, all now in their teens.
Sarah Ellington - Sarah Ellington is an experienced commercial litigator within DLA Piper's Litigation & Regulatory Group, with a focus on Technology, Telecoms and Energy disputes. She is involved in setting the strategy for and day to day running of DLA Piper's internal women's network (the Leadership Alliance for Women ("LAW")) in London, and also sits on the committee for the Future Legal Leaders segment of DLA Piper's 'What In-House Lawyers Need' programme, a skills and networking programme for in-house lawyers. As a mother of two young boys, Sarah actively encouraged her husband to take full advantage of opportunities for shared parental leave, and the two share childcare responsibilities whilst both working full time in the legal profession.
Professor Evelyn Welch - Professor Welch is part of our own faculty at King's, and holds the role of Vice Principal (Arts & Sciences). She studied Renaissance History and Literature at Harvard University and then went on to gain a PhD from The Warburg Institute. She has held positions at the Universities of Essex, the Warburg Institute, Birkbeck, Sussex and Queen Mary, University of London and came to King’s in 2013. She is also responsible for work on the gender pay gap within King's.
The UK is facing problems; indeed, the Trade Union Congress has analysed data and found that, for the top 2% of earners, the gap in annual salaries between men and women is at 54.9%. Access to top jobs has also proved difficult, as shown by the lack of women in top positions in the legal world; to date, the Supreme Court bench has only housed one woman, Baroness Hale of Richmond. Chambers Student puts the average of female partners at UK law firms at just 24%, a figure which drops to 18.8% at magic circle firms. According to Bar Council data, only 20.3% of barristers appointed to Queen’s Council are women.