The ethnicity pay gap shows the difference in the average income rate between ethnic workers – including Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic (BAME) and non-BAME – and White workers. 

The ethnic pay gap – meaning and explanation

The ethnic pay gap reflects the disparity in average earnings between minority-ethnic workers and all-white workers within an organization. This is typically expressed as a percentage of average earnings and measured using the same methodology as for gender pay gap statistics.

For example, if an organization report reveals an ethnic pay gap of 12 %, this indicates that the minority-ethnic workforce at the organization earns on average 12 % less than its all-white counterpart.

A larger pay gap indicates greater inequality in terms of compensation and salary opportunities. Hence, the existence of an ethnicity pay gap suggests that individuals who belong to an ethnic minority (or a group of ethnic minorities) face biases that result in lower earning potential. 

Contributing factors behind the ethnicity pay gap

Several factors contribute to the ethnicity pay gap, including:

How can we close the gap?

Closing the ethnicity pay gap requires efforts that include a consistent approach to ethnicity pay reporting, fair pay scales, promoting negotiation transparency, and creating a workplace that promotes diversity. It is important to ensure that ethnic minorities have equal access to quality jobs in a stereotype-free environment. No workplace where bias and discrimination are allowed to thrive can truly foster a culture of equality and inclusivity.

For this reason, it is important to identify and eradicate practices that actively or indirectly uphold a toxic workplace culture. 

The importance of comprehensive policies

No one single strategy will ever be enough to close the ethnicity pay gap. We need comprehensive and multifaceted policies that address systemic biases and promote equal opportunities. This can best be achieved by implementing fair and transparent hiring practices, conducting regular pay audits in order to identify disparities and consistently providing unconscious bias training to employees in management roles.

Additionally, fostering a culture of inclusivity and diversity that celebrates different ethnic backgrounds is essential. Through these collective efforts, along with ongoing monitoring and accountability, we can contribute to a more equitable society. A society in which individuals of all ethnic backgrounds are valued and compensated fairly for their contributions.

Key steps to closing the ethnicity pay gap

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