Women from Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds earn nearly a third less than men of white British origin.

The Fawcett Society claims that the pay gap revealed in its analysis of pay data “should be causing national outrage”. Women of Bangladeshi and Pakistani descent in the UK earn nearly 33% less per hour on average compared to white British men, a disparity that campaigners argue “should be causing national outrage”. Pay data analysis also reveals that mixed-race women and Black Caribbean women earn 25% less than their white male counterparts.

On Ethnicity Pay Gap Day 2024, the Fawcett Society published these figures, which were uncovered through a comprehensive analysis of statistics from a gender pay gap report released by the campaign group in November. The data demonstrates significant discrepancies between different groups of women and an even greater disparity when compared to men.

Alesha De-Freitas, the head of policy at Fawcett, stated that the ethnicity pay gap is “creating double trouble for Black and minoritized women” in the UK. She emphasized the stark nature of the figures, particularly noting that women of Bangladeshi heritage earn nearly one-third less per hour than white British men, a fact that should elicit national outrage.

The analysis reveals a pay gap of 14.7% between women of Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage and white British women, whereas the gap increases to 28.4% when compared to white British men. For women of Black Caribbean heritage, the gap is 25% when compared to white British men.

Dianne Greyson, the founder of the campaign group responsible for Ethnicity Pay Gap Day, called on the government to implement mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting, asserting that companies must be aware of their pay gaps and who is most affected in order to address this issue effectively. She expressed her anticipation for further discussions on this matter during the ethnicity pay gap summit scheduled for February.

The Fawcett report identifies bias as a significant factor contributing to the ethnicity and gender pay gap. According to the report, 75% of women of color have experienced racism in the workplace, while 42% report being overlooked for promotion despite receiving positive feedback. In comparison, the figure for white women is 27%.

De-Freitas advocates for mandatory reporting, citing the success of mandatory gender pay gap reporting in raising awareness and inspiring action to tackle the gender pay gap. She urges the government to make ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory as well and insists on holding companies accountable by requiring them to publish action plans for closing persistent gaps.

This is the first data on the subject since the onset of the pandemic.

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