Ethnicity Pay Gap… still a long way to go

    Ethnicity Pay Gap… still a long way to go

    Last year the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a report which said that the ethnicity pay gap between White and ethnic minority employees had narrowed to its smallest level since 2021, which is all well and good.

    But in the UK, over the past couple of years, that gap has hovered around an eye-watering £3bn so there is a long way to go. And while some minorities faired better than others, the ONS reported the gap was larger for men than women, larger for those aged over 30 and is the largest in London, at 23.8 per cent, while in Wales the gap is as narrow as 1.4 per cent.

    There are serious problems in the City. While the business community sent out supportive statements for the Black Lives Matter movement, back in 2020, few have taken the measures to address their own ethnicity pay gaps. Credit where credit’s due though; two corporate giants have already held their hands up. Accountants PwC voluntarily reported their number, with black workers’ median average earnings at 8.3 per cent lower than white workers, while Lloyds Bank released a race action plan, which included data revealing that black workers were paid almost 20 per cent less that their colleagues. At Lloyds the discrepancy is because, while black staff makes up 1.5 per cent of the workforce, they only represent 0.6 per cent of senior management.

    Let’s see what they do about it.

    Human Resources professional Dianne Greyson founded the Ethnicity Pay Gap Campaign to tackle the issue in business, and launched the first official Ethnicity Pay Gap Day on 8th January. Greyson has written to Minister Kemi Badenoch and London Mayor Sadiq Khan in an attempt to address and make serious inroads into the gap in our capital city.

    There is some evidence that gender and LGBT+ initiatives have received more attention and made more progress than efforts to promote the BLM movement, with women reaching senior positions more quickly than black employees. So Greyson has collected over 100,000 signatures on a petition to fully end the ethnicity pay gap, and will push parliament relentlessly to recognise this initiative alongside the gender pay gap.

    In the public and voluntary sectors too there is much work to be done. And here at HDN we ask you to take a look at our Board Diversity Programme, which is designed to find and place talent from a diverse range of candidates, with the ultimate aim of improving the race and gender balance of boards in the housing sector and beyond.

    It is now widely agreed that a board which reflects the diversity of its staff, customers and community will always fare better than a narrow board, in terms of economic growth, smart decision-making and staff retention and morale.

    So what are we waiting for?

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