Pay Equity for People of Colour – 5 Tips for Expert Ethnicity Pay Gap Analysis

The Black Lives Matter movement, spurred by the murder of George Floyd, has lead to the necessary conversations about racism across the globe, in everyday life as well as in the workplace. We’ve seen leading companies pledge their commitment to diversity and inclusion, and now they face scrutiny as to whether or not their statements are followed with action and success.

The call for change is being demanded from all angles. A survey by Deloitte revealed that 69% of Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to stay for 5 or more years if working for an employer perceived to have a diverse workforce. A petition in the UK for mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting received over 100,000 signatures, and is up for debate in parliament. Now is the time to learn, plan and emerge from the crisis with innovative strategies for change.

As fair pay specialists, we at Gapsquare know that measuring pay inequality is one way to improve equality at work. Financial and influence exclusion for People of Colour limits your company. Looking at your ethnicity pay gaps will give you an idea of the areas to focus your D&I strategy, in order to make sustainable and tangible change. Our five tips below will help you know where to begin.
1 –  Don’t Underestimate The Task
We’ve seen organisations struggle with ethnicity pay gap analysis due to a lack of equalities monitoring data surrounding race and low disclosure rates amongst employees. We also know that, unlike gender pay gap reporting (which generally compares men with female and non-binary people), race identity is much broader spectrum and comparing in binaries isn’t useful.
Don’t underestimate the task of ethnicity pay gap analysis – start early, plan properly, and think about how you can improve your data collection process (we have some for that tips here). Large scale data analysis doesn’t have to be intimidating, but it does have to be thorough, well planned and holistic.
2 – Know The Causes, Turn Them Into An Action Plan
At Gapsquare we are strong advocates of communicating well when it comes to publishing equalities data and ethnicity pay analysis will be no different. In fact, it might be the case that the need is even greater with reporting the ethnicity pay gap.
There are a number of subtleties that could cause a lot of harm in terms of public and internal relations which can be mitigated with an excellent understanding of the data and a communications and reporting approach that is clear is essential. Having incredible data insights is no good if employees aren’t sure how to interpret these.
3 – Look at intersectionality 

So, now that we’ve started to really talk about the ethnicity pay gap, we can sideline the issue of gender, right? Wrong. For those of you who have experience deep-diving into pay data, you will know that there are a range of influences and cross-overs in experiences of disadvantage and that we can’t look at ethnicity without breaking it down by other factors.

It’s important to look across different protected characteristics and see how they influence each other. For example, can you make the most of the data you have by looking into pay differences between men and women of colour?
4 – Location Changes the Picture – Deep Dive & Build Context

Through the incredible range of data that Gapsquare has gathered and investigated over the years, we have been able to deduce that a lot can be learned by breaking down data by a variety of factors – including location. Your gender and ethnicity pay gap picture might be really different in your London office when compared to, say, your office in the Midlands. There is a lot to be learned, especially with ethnicity pay reporting, by looking at where your people are.

Of course this may not the easiest thing to publish, you have to be really conscious of not identifying an individual or small group of individuals in your workplace and outlining or sharing their specific experience, whilst still allowing exploration of location-based data to be useful – but it could redefine how you approach ending pay inequality for good.

5. Act now with these resources:

Action can’t wait. We at Gapsquare are already supporting companies to look at their pay disparities and improve BAME representation at work. We know that large scale changes to functions and systems take time, and that is why pay is the perfect place to start.

Take ownership of building an inclusive workplace today. Get ahead of the game and start developing a strategy for ethnicity pay gap analysis, and build a reputation as a truly progressive employer.

Ethnicity pay gap reporting – the rationale for undertaking

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