On the 30th September 2018 I wrote the 2nd of my Ethnicity Pay Gap articles. In the article I discussed how I came about setting up the #EthnicityPayGap movement. In that year there had been quite a few reports on the Ethnicity Pay Gap, one of which was a Guardian article written on 27th September 2018 identifying that there was a disparity of pay between black medics and white medics.
A cross party meeting was held on 23rd October in parliament to ascertain what could be done to close the gap. To further elevate this issue, the government sent out a request on the 11th October 2018 for companies to be part of a consultation on the Ethnicity Pay Gap. Responses where required to be in by the 11th January 2019. It was my understanding that we should expect an update of this consultation in autumn. To-date I have not heard any whispers of such an update being provided. I must say, I am not surprised that we have reached October 2019 and no real action has been taken on the consultation. In fact, I remember saying to someone in January that the consultation will disappear into a dark hole unlikely to be resurrected. It is my belief that Brexit has engulfed all other issues. The Ethnicity Pay Gap is not seen as a priority nor a business imperative.
Statistical example of Ethnicity Pay Gap 2018
The ONS wrote a report on the 9th July 2019 highlighting the Ethnicity Pay Gap but what was interesting about their approach was the emphasis on Chinese, Indian and mixed race people having a higher medium pay than their white counterparts. It was as if they were trying to dampen down the real disparity which is Black and Asian and other ethnic minorities are loosing out on £3.2 billion a year in wages compared to the white colleagues doing the same job as reported by the Guardian in December 2018.
Carrie Gracie ex-BBC China Editor and current BBC presenter, published a book in September 2019 called Equal. At the heart of it, it is about equal pay for women but I believe it is more than that it talks about equal pay regardless of race, ethnicity or disability. This is the only book that I have seen so far apart from my own, that has mentioned the Ethnicity Pay Gap issue more than once. Moreover, how it adversely effects black women due to the double punishment of Gender Pay and Ethnicity Pay Gap. The BBC from my understanding have not fully tackled their Ethnicity Pay Gap neither their Gender Pay Gap. A work in progress no doubt but how long must we wait. It has been said it will take many years for both gaps to even be marginally closed.
So who has reported their Ethnicity Pay Gap this year? here are some organisations I have come across; Deloitte, PWC, UCL, Brunel University . It is good that some organisations are reporting their Ethnicity Pay Gap but this needs to be a much wider effort. There should be a clear message that says the Ethnicity Pay Gap is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. This issue should be driven by government with stiff penalties attached. Without penalties organisations will circumvent any policies the government plan to implement.
It is over a year and a half since I created the #EthnicityPayGap movement. The membership has grown but I think it could be a significantly larger. Some have cited that they would support but they could not participate in wearing the t-shirt to show solidarity in fear of any repercussions from their employers. This is a human rights issue, I cannot see why any organisation would have such a stance with someone supporting the movement. I have also heard people say that this would be a political statement. No it is not about politics, but a change in the law will help towards making the Ethnicity Pay Gap a thing of the past.
Carrie Gracie has lent her support to this issue and has now helped to raised the profile of our movement, for this I am grateful. We must make people aware of what is happening and start having dialogue to ensure that changes are made to address this issue.
So what is my update? There is no update. Not much has changed since my last article, we cannot allow this to continue, only by working together for change will we get noticed and acknowledge. We need to be seen and heard and be part of the change process.
If you want to be part of the movement buy your t-shirt from my website Equilibrium Mediation Consulting Alternatively, if you wish to have a more passive approach, make your views known, discuss this issue on social media or with friends over a coffee.