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Black academics earn thousands less than white counterparts

PAY PENALTY: Black non-UK women have the lowest earning profile, according to the findings

BLACK AND minority academics earn thousands of pounds less than their white counterparts, a new study has revealed.

According to the report, Caught at the crossroads? An intersectional approach to gender and ethnicity pay gaps, by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) into the pay differences between ethnic minority staff and their white ones in higher education, pay penalties for ethnic minorities are significant.

On average, black scholars are paid roughly 13 per cent less than white male scholars, even when they are of a similar age and educational background, the findings show.

Black male and female academics were revealed to earn the least on average. They were also found to be much more likely to work in lower level grades within higher education, as opposed to their white and Asian counterparts and much less likely to work in senior and management roles.

While white academic men are shown as the top earners with 38.7 per cent earning over £50,000, black academic staff are underrepresented in all pay brackets above £50,000.

Black non-UK women were found to have the lowest earning profile, according to the findings.

The study’s intersectional approach means that it considers the compounded impact of at least two characteristics that are inextricably linked, for example, race and gender.

Gender equality has been a focus of a lot of the efforts to improve the makeup and working conditions of higher education and beyond but significantly less time and resources have been devoted to addressing issues around ethnic representation and inclusion.

While thousands of employers are now required to publish their gender pay gap figures, a consultation on whether similar reporting on race should be mandatory is underway.

Viola Salvestrini, UCEA researcher and report co-author said: “There are clear differences in labour market outcomes for different ethnic groups in the HE sector with men and women from black ethnicities showing significant pay penalties relative to white men. These penalties remain even when accounting for level of education and demographic variables.

"While the sector’s formidable work to improve women’s careers should be noted, more attention is required for interventions to further improve the ethnic diversity of recruitment pools and actively address barriers to progression that are more likely to affect ethnic minorities.”

UCEA’s head of research and the other report’s co-author Laurence Hopkins said: “Our analysis demonstrates the complexity of pay differences within the sector and highlights the importance of considering intersectionality rather than simply looking at ethnicity and gender pay gaps in isolation. With the likelihood of ethnicity pay gap reporting on the horizon, this report shows that calculating a broad ‘BME’ pay gap on its own will hide significant differences between different ethnic minority groups as well as differences within ethnic groups by nationality and gender.”

You can read the full report here.

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