A survey of salaries paid to lawyers with the same experience shows little difference in pay between women and men in their first 10 years in the profession.

But the survey, which was made up of insights from more than 2500 lawyers and put together by the New Zealand Law Society and Niche Consulting Group, shows there are noticeable differences in the hours worked by women and men, the level of salary rises and other employment benefits.

Lawyers in their first decade of experience were found to work full time with the proportion working part time rising sharply after 10 years of experience.

Niche Consulting Group Director Jane Temel said the survey highlighted areas of bias around salary increases and benefits for men and women.


"Many lawyers who have been granted part-time hours remain on the same salary until they revert to full-time hours; they either do not expect to receive a salary increase, or they are afraid the benefit might be removed if they seek a salary increase," Temel said.

"The survey shows part-time workers are less likely to receive a salary increase than full-time workers. This is an issue that mainly affects women, due to the higher number of women working part-time."

Other survey findings include 85 per cent of respondents worked more than 37.5 hours per week, and 96 per cent of me work full time and women 80 per cent.

Around 78 per cent of women said they worked part time for caregiving purposes compared with 11 per cent of men.

The main reason for men working part time was due to them not needing to work full time and "to pursue other hobbies and interests".

Twenty five per cent of respondents who were at the time employed full time said they received no pay rise in the last 12 months and 38 per cent of respondents who worked part time received no pay rise in the last 12 months.

Men were found to be more likely to receive a higher salary rise than women, with 31 per cent of women and 25 per cent of men receiving an increase of one per cent to 3 per cent in the last 12 months, and 50 per cent of men and 44 per cent of women receiving a rise of 4 per cent or more.

Women make up one-third of the partners and directors in New Zealand law firms.