Never mind the gender pay gap – what about the ethnicity pay gap?

We know that a number of organisations are still not publishing their gender pay gap despite legislation being in place since 2017.  However, it seems there is some progress being made in the gender pay arena.  Incidentally, the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 apply to private and voluntary-sector organisations with 250 or more employees so there are many organisations with less than 250 employees who are under the radar.  In a similar vein some companies have committed to publishing their ethnicity pay gap and the government is considering making this mandatory too.

Remember back in November 2017 when the BBC first published its pay gap data?  There were some shocking differences between male and female presenters, yet far less attention was paid to the gap between white and BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) staff.  The figures showed that the highest-earning man was paid over £2m per annum compared to the highest paid woman (c £500,000).  That compares to the highest paid BAME presenter earning £300,000 and the highest paid BAME female presenter earning £250,000.   The differences in the BBC pay levels indicates that there is a wide ethnicity gap which need to be addressed as vigorously as the gender gap.

Carrie Gracie, the China Editor for the BBC, won a pay-out of £280,000 which she donated to the Fawcett Society which campaigns for women’s rights.  Just recently Samira Ahmed also won her case, which has not been announced yet when she claimed she was out of pocket to the tune of £700,000 because of the difference in pay between her and Jeremy Vine.

But is this just an issue for the BBC?  Research shows that it is similar across other sectors and industries.   So maybe the better question is why?  Part of the answer lies in the fact stereotypical roles for women are paid less and BAME men are more likely to be occupying female dominated roles such as care or service roles.

If you believe your organisation would benefit from further advice about fairness and equality around pay please get in touch with Hafton by emailing us at info@haftonconsultancy.com.