Canadian Lawyer InHouse

August/September 2020

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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4 NEWS ROUNDUP SURVEY NEWS BRIEFS Legal department wage discrepancy Gender pay gap has not narrowed since 2018, The Counsel Network/CCCA study finds The average base salary for male in-house lawyers stands at $177,000, which is $19,000 higher than the average female base salary of $158,000. A study by The Counsel Network in partnership with the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association found that this gap has not changed since the previous study in 2018. When comparing the difference in base salary across the five sectors studied, the base salaries are lowest for government, Crown corporation and not-for-profits — sectors that employ the highest proportion of females. The gender discrepancy is more noticeable at the general counsel executive level with male GCs earning $23,000 more on average than females — a wider gap than in 2018. In addition, the study found that 30 per cent of males have a mean salary of more than $200,000 compared to 19 per cent of females who earn that amount. "One of the reasons I believe this gap occurs is that there's a tendency for organizations, when they are hiring, to look at the compen- sation that a candidate has in their current role and use it as a benchmark to decide what to offer for the new role," says Dal Bhathal, managing partner at The Counsel Network. "If there is a disparity between men and women at the lower level, the increase might be the same for women as it is for men, but because women were earning less at the lower level, they can never catch up. "There is a lot of work that still needs to be done, and the first step is to highlight the fact that as much as we are all trying to do, there is still a problem," she adds. Commenting from her perspective as corporate counsel at Canadian Dental Services Corporation, Barbara de Dios is disheartened to see that the disparity has not changed in the past two years. "Perhaps the consistency of following up on practical, meaningful organizational changes in the weeks and months following the release of these studies, when they aren't sitting on top of our news feeds, are just as important," says de Dios. Bramm Research conducted the In-House Counsel Compensation & Career Survey Report on behalf of The Counsel Network and the CCCA from Jan. 14 to Feb 28. The survey polled 1,141 in-house counsel across Canada. It is the sixth report of its kind. "If there is a disparity between men and women at the lower level . . . they can never catch up …" Dal Bhathal Ken Fredeen steps down from GC role at Deloitte After 20 years as general counsel at Deloitte LLP, Ken Fredeen has stepped down. He assumes a new role as senior partner at the firm, taking the lead on Indigenous and accessibility initiatives — two matters that became very important to him during his time as general counsel and as a founding member of Legal Leaders for Diversity. "I'm bringing together these two areas that are very different, but they are both critically important for Canada, and Deloitte is very supportive of that," says Fredeen. Chief legal officers and HR officers join forces against racial discrimination The Association of Corporate Counsel and the Society for Human Resource Management have announced that they will be allies for change in fighting against racial disparities and bias in the workplace. The new alliance is committed to taking decisive action toward fostering respect and empathy for more inclusive workplaces. "The death of George Floyd and other African Americans killed at the hands of police again put into stark contrast the depth and breadth of racial disparities and discrimination in our communities," said Veta T. Richardson, president and chief executive officer of the ACC. Global survey explores the right to appeal A right of appeal

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