White academic staff paid 14 per cent more than black academic colleagues

New analysis released today from the University and College Union (UCU) has revealed that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in universities are less likely to hold senior jobs and are paid less than their white colleagues1. In response Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s responsible business network, said: “In order to achieve a fairer workplace in the UK, employers must hold themselves accountable and be transparent about where they are and what direction they are headed.

“Over the last year ethnicity pay gap reporting has evolved where more and more employers are measuring their pay gaps and taking action. But our most recent Race at Work survey showed that many employers are still hesitant to speak publicly about their pay gaps and their plans to tackle this issue.

“More than 400,000 people are employed by higher education institutions in the UK and it’s critical that we tackle every stage of racial inequality, from recruitment through to retention and progression. So far we have seen a relatively low uptake from academia and encourage all higher education institutions to become signatories of our Race at Work Charter.”

The UCU’s analysis of the 2017/18 Higher Education Statistics Agency staff record shows that, overall, BAME staff suffer a pay gap of 9 per cent compared to white academic staff, and staff from a black background suffer the greatest pay gap (14 per cent) compared with their white colleagues.

BITC’s Race at Work Charter is designed to foster a public commitment to improving outcomes of BAME employees in the workplace. It consists of five principles to ensure organisations address the barriers to BAME recruitment and progression.

Organisations that sign up to the charter publicly commit to:

  • appointing an executive sponsor for race
  • capturing data and publicising progress
  • ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression.

“IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A FAIRER WORKPLACE IN THE UK, EMPLOYERS MUST HOLD THEMSELVES ACCOUNTABLE AND BE TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHERE THEY ARE AND WHAT DIRECTION THEY ARE HEADED.

Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community

Ends

Notes to editor 

Media contact 
Katherine Howbrook, head of media and external affairs, BITC, Tel: 07515 119096, Email: katherine.howbrook@bitc.org.uk
 
About Business in the Community (BITC)
BITC is the oldest and largest business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. We were created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business.
 
We inspire, engage and challenge members and we mobilise that collective strength as a force for good in society to:

  • Create a skilled, inclusive workforce today and for the future
  • Build thriving communities in which to live and work
  • Innovate to repair and sustain our planet.

References
1. University and College Union (2019) Black academic staff face double whammy in promotion and pay stakes, Available at https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10360/Black-academic-staff-face-double-wh…