Take Action To Close The Ethnicity Pay Gap

Mar 21, 2024
Bethany Carter

The pay gap between white people and people of colour is nothing new. It’s a well-documented issue that has persisted for decades. While there has been some progress made in recent years, the gap remains.

In this article, we look separately at the pay gaps between white men and men of colour, and white women and women of colour. The purpose of this is to demonstrate that ethnic identity still plays a significant role in pay discrimination, even amongst those of the same gender.

US-based research by Payscale found that ​​black or African American men had the largest uncontrolled pay gap relative to white men. They earned $0.87 for every dollar a white man earned. Hispanic or Latino workers had the next largest gap, earning $0.91 for every dollar earned by a white man.

According to AAUW, the Black women’s earnings ratio changed from 59% to only 63%( a 4% difference) since 1988. At this rate, the gap will not close for 350 years. The Latina earnings ratio changed from 53% to 55% (only a 2% difference). At this rate, the gap will not close for 432 years. The white women’s earnings ratio changed from 64% to 79% (a 15% difference). The gap is projected to close in 50 years. LeanIn reports that on average, Black women in the U.S. are paid 12% less than white women.

Although there are many factors that contribute to the pay gap, including occupational segregation and differences in education and training, discrimination is a significant factor. Discrimination can play a role in hiring and promotion decisions, which can limit opportunities for men of colour to advance in their careers and earn higher salaries.

Studies from SHRM have also shown that people of colour are often paid less than their white counterparts for the same work, even when factors such as education, experience, and job responsibilities are taken into account.

There are many policies and initiatives that can help address the ethnicity pay gap. These include:

  • strengthening anti-discrimination laws and enforcement
  • increasing diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • promoting equal access to education and training opportunities

Employers can also take steps to ensure that their compensation practices are fair and transparent and that employees of all backgrounds have equal opportunities to advance in their careers.

You could also provide mentorship and networking opportunities to help people of colour advance in their careers and gain access to higher-paying positions.

Closing the ethnicity pay gap is not just a matter of fairness and justice, but it is also critical for the economic health of our society. When workers are paid fairly, they are better able to provide for themselves and their families, and they are more likely to participate in the economy.

In conclusion, the ethnicity pay gap is a complex and persistent issue that requires a comprehensive and sustained effort to address. By taking individual and systemic actions to promote equality and fairness in the workplace, we can work towards closing the pay gap and creating a more just and equitable society.

Put your values into action! With the EQUAL-SALARY Gender & Ethnicity Certification, you can verify and communicate that you pay all employees equally for the same job or for job of the same value regardless of gender and ethnicity

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