The pay gap for Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black Caribbean women is larger than that faced by white female employees.
According to Moving on up? The way forward by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), these three ethnic groups are also more likely to be unemployed, under-represented in senior level jobs and clustered in a narrow range of workplaces; jobs; sectors and local labour markets than white women. The report also revealed that Bangladeshi and Pakistani women have the lowest rates of participation in the labour market of any group in Britain.
To counter this, the report claimed that employers need to become more “culturally intelligent” to improve inequalities for ethnic minority women. In turn, this will open up a wider pool of talent.
As well as updating their understanding of different cultures in the workplace to reflect society’s diversities, employers should also look seriously at more flexible working and extending childcare to help women balance caring responsibilities and work.
John Cridland, deputy director-general at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: “Employers are keen to employ more women from ethnic minorities but better guidance is needed to support them.”
He added†that positive action is needed from employers to improve the situation rather than just focusing on data collection. “It is important to remember that obliging employers to collect more data about employees will not in itself achieve a more diverse workforce. Indeed, it would only take the focus away from those actions that help encourage more ethnic minority women in the workplace.”