Caribbean employees face highest ethnicity pay gap, analysis shows

New analysis of Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, Race at Work survey has found that UK employees from a Caribbean background working in professional occupational roles face an average pay gap of £3814 compared to their colleagues, the highest pay gap of any ethnicity group. This analysis was conducted by Queen Mary’s Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity and Birmingham Business School’s Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business.1

This new analysis was taken from BITC’s Race at Work 2015, 2018 and 2021 YouGov panel surveys of 779 employees in the UK from Caribbean backgrounds. It also found that UK employees from a Caribbean background:

  • are underrepresented at supervisor/foreman level at 2.9% and on par with management level at 4%
  • are underrepresented in senior higher paid roles which include professional, higher technical and higher management levels at 3%, compared to sample size of 4%
  • More than half (55%) say they are underpaid for what they do, despite the majority (72%) having diplomas, degrees, PhDs or Masters.
  • Over a third (34%) would like a mentor to help try and overcome these barriers, but very few (14%) have one.

BITC has been calling on the Government to require employers to publish their ethnicity pay gap.

Commenting on the findings, Sandra Kerr CBE, Race Director at Business in the Community (BITC), said:

“As we remember and celebrate the legacy of the Windrush generation, we cannot ignore the challenges they faced upon their arrival to this country, nor the obstacles they still encounter today. Even when employees from a Caribbean background are at a senior level, they face an average pay gap of £3800, the highest of any ethnicity group.

“To address this unacceptable pay gap, the Government must make ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory. Publishing this data ensures transparency but it also helps employers ensure that action is directed to where it is needed most. Businesses have been clear, they want to see mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting introduced as they see it a tool to create fair workplaces rather than a burden.”


  1. Queen Mary’s Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity is working with Birmingham Business School’s Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business on a longitudinal study and thematic analysis of BITC’s Race at Work surveys. Researchers are digging into data spanning seven years to find new insight into the world of work for employees from every census demographic group in the UK, not only studying race but gender, sector, location, age and other intersectional factors.

For further information, please contact Erin Johnson, Press Officer, on 0771 310 1878.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community (BITC) and our network of business members are leading a movement to create a fair and sustainable world in which to live in work. Formed in 1982, and with HRH The Prince of Wales as our Royal Founding Patron, we are the largest and longest-established membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We work and campaign with more than 600 members to continually grow their responsible business practices, uniting our efforts for greater social and environmental impact in our communities.