So, hot on the heels from the results of the gender pay gap, comes the ethnicity pay gap. Organisations in the Greater London Authority (GLA) group went through an ethnicity pay audit which found that white workers are paid up to 37% MORE than their BAME counterparts. Further studies indicate that having a name that is native to BAME countries will result in needing to apply for TWICE as many roles than typically British/European names to secure an interview.
And it gets worse… data from the Fawcett Society shows that pay gaps exist between British white males and females from most minority ethnic groups; pay gaps can range from 19.6% for Black African women to -5.6% for Chinese women. The gender role also still plays a part within singular ethnicities, with the largest gap being for Indian females at 16.1% and conversely, the gap for Black Caribbean women is reversed at -8.8%.
The Resolution Foundation conducted analysis on this topic that shows, once qualifications and job types are accounted for, that black male graduates are paid up to 17% (£3.90/hour) LESS than their white counterparts; 1.6 million UK BAME workers miss out on £3.2 million pounds through unequal/underpayment. In 2018, the EHRC (Equality & Human Rights Commission) published an ethnicity pay gap report which details best practice and different methods employers can use to increase equality and monitor both the salaries and progression of their minority groups. Below are 3 key points that will help to resolve the issue internally:
- Follow the guidelines and methods listed in the EHRC report and promote the study of these issues to your workforce.
- Give your BAME role models the opportunities and platform they require to become champions of the diversity movement so they can promote how a multi-cultural workplace can be successful.
- Using the #EthnicityPayGap hashtag to garner support and raise awareness of these issues, encourage open discussion on the topic and promote a more inclusive and fair workplace.
“If something is on the government agenda it shows a positive output, and recognition will naturally become a focal point for business” MP Dawn Butler
Following the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting, the ethnicity pay gap has now become a government-recognised issue with an All Party Parliamentary Group being created to try to deal with this problem. There are increasing efforts to follow suit with the gender pay gap and create a legal requirement for ethnicity pay audits, particularly from London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. He is recommending ethnicity pay audit legislation to the government, and has introduced anonymised recruitment, unconscious bias training in his own offices and has created a D&I management board.
“This sentiment is echoed by social commentary with the #EthnicityPayGap movement gaining traction. Run by Dianne Greyson, the Director of Equilibrium Mediation Consulting, she was inspired to lead this campaign after hearing other black female professionals raise their concerns to her. Now she is hoping to educate those from ethnic backgrounds, particularly the youth, so that they can try to navigate this issue for themselves.
“Personally, I believe that a truly inclusive and diverse workforce is the only way forward; whilst a lot of organisations are working towards this albeit slowly, they must recognise that this must also include equality threaded throughout to prevent the never ending churn of BAME talent that passes through them, rather than progressing internally which would reap rewards in retention and attraction.. If you would like to hear more about what we are doing on social mobility, then please don’t hesitate to contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org” Carolyn Simmonds, Business Manager for London Works
“We believe that, once ethnicity pay audits reach the private sector, that the additional exposure and evidence will be the catalyst to bring change and reform to the way minority groups are paid. Women of colour stand to benefit the most from increased data transparency, whilst all industry sectors will learn important lessons from the results. Ethnicity pay gap reporting was recommended as a way to help boost the economy by the McGregor-Smith 2017 review on ‘race in the workplace’, and whilst these issues will not be solved by simply being required to publish data, it is definitely a good start and a key first step into changing the employment culture around hiring minority workers.” Julie Hutchinson, Managing Director of London Works