SocialMarks is a benchmarking platform for the ‘S’ in ESG – which is widely regarded as the most challenging area for business. With 25 years of experience in this space, SocialMarks is at the forefront of combining data, technology, insight, and benchmarking for clients.
ESG regulation and legislation is increasing and the demand for legal and professional services is growing. ESG is becoming increasingly prevalent with clients, investors, and the public alike, and ESG criteria are now being prioritised for legal and professional services firms. There is a growing demand for firms which prioritise ESG as this not only allows firms to improve their internal practices, but also ensures they are best placed to advise clients.
Both Management Consultancy and Law are two of the strongest sectors in the social sphere of ESG. Here, SocialMarks have explored how the Magic Circle (Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters LLP, and Slaughter and May) compares to the Big Four (Ernst Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC). Overall, the Big Four outperform the Magic Circle as their activity is consistently strong across the board.
Within People, the sectors are parallel and there is less disparity between their scores. Allen & Overy outperform three of the Big Four. Magic Circle firms are more gender balanced than the Big Four as Slaughter & May, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance have 52%, 54%, 57% and 60% women respectively overall in the firm. Similarly, all law firms here have more women in the upper pay quartile than any of the management consultancy firms. However, it is a different story when it comes to women in senior positions, whereby the Big Four outperform the Magic Circle. On the board at Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC there are 44%, 73%, 56% and 36% women respectively. This highlights one of the key challenges facing the legal sector – the conversion rate of female employees from junior to senior positions – work needs to be done to secure this pipeline of talent.
Regarding other areas of Diversity & Inclusion, however, there is more balance and firms across both sectors are working towards increasing diversity by actively working to recruit, retain and promote underrepresented employees.
Within the Community pillar however, the Big Four outperform the Magic Circle. In large part, this is due to comprehensive reporting processes across all social elements. There is significant difference of 101 between the top ranked firm for Community (EY) at 149 and the lowest ranked (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) at 48. Bringing the activities a company undertakes to the fore is important, regardless of the specific area – not talking about it means nobody is aware of the good work that is being done!
If you would like to find out more about which social metrics contribute to SocialMarks ranking and why the Big Four outperforms the Magic Circle, contact SocialMarks today for a free demo.