What is #EthnicityPayGap? Broken down it is a call to action on Ethnicity Pay. This is the pay gap that no one seems to want to talk about. When the conversations do materialise they are quickly glossed over and further discussions about the Equal Pay Gap is discussed. The gap between men and women is indeed an important topic but surely we cannot have a real discussion about it until we discuss the Ethnicity Pay Gap. This gap is highest when we discuss the difference between White Women and women of Colour .
In America the issue around Ethnicity Pay Gap is already a discussion topic. MacCleans an American publication highlights the issue of women of Colour suffering two pay gaps that of men and women and because of their race. Equality of Human Rights have also undertaken research about the Ethnicity Pay Gap in fact if you Google search this topic you will observe that there are quite a few undertakings on this subject.
Why are organisations not addressing this issue? I have had many discussions around Ethnicity Pay Gap with fellow colleagues and what seems to be a common thread is the need for action now. A thread on LinkedIn originating from Vanessa Valley who presented an article by Leana Coopoosamy on Gender Pay Gap – What about Ethnicity. It was this thread that made me realise that I had to step up and do more to make this subject more visible. I created the hashtag #EthnicityPayGap to be the catalyst for a movement. I have had many positive comments about the movement. One particularly comment from Joanna Wilde author of Racism At Work made me realise there are people ready for the movement. Joanna said “this issue is a workplace health issue” by this I think she meant the anxiety and stress it causes knowing that you are being paid less because of your colour. Another comment from Roger Kline Research fellow Middlesex University Business School clearly demonstrated the organisation context by observing “The Ethnicity Pay Gap will highlight occupational segregation, concrete ceilings for recruitment and promotion and the impact of discretionary pay systems”.
We know that the BBC has been under the spotlight regarding Equal Pay and I with many others have written about it. As I said earlier Equal Pay is important but this will never be achieved without addressing the Ethnicity Pay Gap. Are companies willing to address this? Currently I would say not but voices are starting to increase in this area. Afua Hirsch an Author and writer for the Guardian is one of those voices that have been putting a spotlight on the Ethnicity Pay Gap. She looks into the issues and uses the BBC as an example of an organisation who has yet to face up to the Ethnicity Pay Gap.
There are lots of statistical information out there that bare out the fact that the Ethnicity Pay Gap does exist. As with other areas that look at the treatment of diverse groups producing statistics really does not create a paradigm shift in attitudes in my opinion what makes a difference is collective voices. You cannot be ignored if you speak in one articulate voice with evidence to back you up. What is stopping us from creating a voice for Ethnicity Pay Gap? The time is now to make things happen.
When you see articles on Equal Pay, please comment by using #EthnicityPayGap to keep the issue out there. If you are on a panel talking about Equal Pay, mention #EthnicityPayGap and if your colleague mentions how important it is to get Equal Pay mention #EthnicityPayGap.
I would like to thank Jenny Garrett for asking for my thoughts about pushing the issue forward, Tash Pennant for writing her view on the #Ethnicity Pay Gap and others. Special thanks to Sisters At The Table for your gentle encouragement to write this article.
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