Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Minding the minority gap

"The pay gap between men and women is closing at a snail's pace” – comments made recently by Baroness Margaret Prosser, deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Pay gaps between men and women have been the subject of much public debate in recent weeks and months, with Baroness Prosser claiming that it will take at least another two decades to “resolve this injustice”.

But what about pay gaps right across the so-called equality strands of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion or faith and sexual orientation? For the first time research has been commissioned by the EHRC in a bid to better understand the reasons why some minority groups are worse off than others.

The research, carried out by Simonetta Longhi and Lucinda Platt at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex, also questions if seemingly obvious solutions like better qualifications are the only way to help policy makers do something about those gaps.

The study compared the average full-time pay for men and women from each minority group was compared to the average pay of men from the majority group, for example, each religious minority was compared with Christian men, while men and women with a disability were compared with non-disabled men. Pay gaps for women compared to men were also examined. The research scrutinised pay gaps by comparing those with similar characteristics in the areas of age, level of disability, occupation and qualifications.

As far as ethnic groups were concerned, the study showed that all ethnic minority women had pay gaps relative to white British men. Among men pay gaps for Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black African men were the highest especially for those men with lower qualifications. Conversely, Indian and Chinese men were not disadvantaged and in some cases were better paid than their white British male counterparts, although once qualifications were taken into account, they did experience a pay penalty. Pay gaps between men and women of the same group were apparent only for the white British and Indian groups.

Women of all religious backgrounds were disadvantaged relative to Christian men, with Sikh and Muslim women having the largest pay gaps. Muslim men were around 17 per cent worse off compared with the same group. Jewish men were around 37 per cent better off.

Disabled women were 22 per cent worse off than able bodied, men, while the gap between disabled men and non-disabled men was 11 per cent. While the latter might be considered particularly noteworthy, the gap is still smaller than that between non disabled men and women which stands at 16 per cent. Having high level qualifications appeared to make little or no difference to the pay gaps relative to similarly qualified non-disabled people.

Same sex couples, whether male or female, were not disadvantaged in comparison with married men, but married women and single women were disadvantaged by 18 per cent and 36 per cent respectively. Single men were 39 per cent worse off than married or cohabiting men.

As far as age was concerned, the research showed that women’s pay fell behind in their late 30s with substantial pay gaps experienced relative to men aged 40-44. That pay gap increased as women moved into their 40s.

Commenting on the overall research findings, Lucinda Platt, said: “There are clear pay penalties for women, certain ethnic minorities and disabled people. What is also apparent, is that getting better qualifications isn’t the only way to achieve parity of pay.”

Dr Platt believes the implications are clear – pay gaps are not just an issue between men and women, but between various minority and majority groups. Whether policy makers can make sure that changes are made at more than “a snail’s pace” remains to be seen.

Christine Garrington | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>