Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Minding the minority gap

23.12.2008
"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:
http://www.essex.ac.uk
http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publicationsandresources/Pages/PayGapsAcrossEqualitiesAreas.aspx

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks

08.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>