A recent study from University of Essex has suggested that unconscious bias might [still] be a factor in why come ethnic groups in the UK are earning less!

Alarmingly, the report also suggests that the ethnic pay gap has widened over the past two decades in favour of white workers, this despite the progress made.  The report claims “the negative pay gap occurs because ethnic minorities tend to cluster into low paying occupations.’  (I have yet to read the full report).

The research also highlighted contrasting results across different ethnicities. For example, in the four years to 2008 black Caribbean workers earned an average of £8.40 per hour (minus 30 pence more than white workers).

Chinese and Indian workers had also fared well the researchers informed Personnel Management magazine ‘PM.’

The reports’ authors highlight that ‘The problem for ethnic minority workers is that they can find it harder to get into higher paid occupations, adding that barriers to entry could include discrimination in the selection process or the prevalence of traditional job choices within some communities.’ 

PM article rightly suggest that ‘addressing unconscious bias within the recruitment process, having more ethnic minority role models in certain occupations,’ are all proactive steps that could help address the balance but can we do more?

Is it time to revisit the issue of unconscious bias within organisations?

The research has been conducted by Dr Malcolm Brynin at ISER and Dr Ayse Güveli, from the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex.