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 New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>