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Study Says Many Minority Ethnic Women ‘left behind’ by Pay Gap Progress



By News Desk



Tuesday, March 7, 2017.



Leading women’s rights and gender equality campaigning charity the Fawcett Society, has today published new analysis of the gender pay gap by ethnicity, charting progress over more than 25 years.  The analysis reveals real inequalities, with some minority ethnic groups making great strides while pay for others lags far behind.   


Fawcett has also calculated the gap within ethnic groups as well as the gap between minority ethnic women and White British men to reveal a truer picture of gender inequality. 


This data is not routinely collected and published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and instead has to be calculated using the Labour Force Survey.


The report reveals that Black African women have seen virtually no progress since the 1990s in closing the gender pay gap with White British men, with a full-time pay gap of 21.4 percent in the 1990s and 19.6 percent today. When part-time workers are included this figure rises to 24 percent.


Pakistani and Bangladeshi women experience the largest aggregate - including full-time and part-time workers - gender pay gap at 26.2 percent


Indian women experience the biggest pay gap with men in their ethnic group at 16.1 percent.


Commenting, Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

“This analysis reveals a complex picture of gender pay gap inequality.  Black African women have been largely left behind, and in terms of closing the pay gap, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are today only where White British women were in the 1990s.” 


“For these groups this is a story of low labour market participation and low pay when they are in work together with high levels of unpaid caring work.” 


The report also reveals some women experiencing real progress: Black Caribbean women in full-time work have overtaken Black Caribbean men so that they now have a reverse pay gap of -8.8 percent. Black Caribbean women are also more likely to be in the labour market than white women; they are older and so have more experience of the workplace, and also more likely to be working full-time. Black Caribbean mothers tend to return to work while their children are very young. However, at 10 percent, their unemployment rate is still twice that of White British women at 5 percent.


However, Black Caribbean men experience the highest unemployment rate of 16 percent, are under-represented in better paid professions or senior positions and over-represented in routine occupations.


Sam Smethers points out that for women in some ethnic groups a combination of higher education, concentration in better paid professions and more women working full-time has seen their gender pay gap narrow or even reverse when compared with White British men. 


She said: “However, when compared with men of their own ethnicity the pay gap has either widened over time (Chinese women) or narrowed at a much slower rate (Indian women), indicating that they are still experiencing gender inequality. The exception to this is Black Caribbean men who are faring considerably worse in the labour market both in terms of pay and participation than Black Caribbean women. However, Black Caribbean women still experience discrimination. “


“We have to address pay inequality for all, and look behind the headline figures to get a true picture of what is going on.  We also have to understand and address the combined impact of race and gender inequality. As a minimum the ONS should routinely collect and publish this data.”


Black British Women Are Paid Less Than White Men

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