Ethnic minority low paid workers face more barriers to promotion

New research published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that promotion possibilities for low paid workers are generally limited, and that ethnic minorities especially face multiple problems in getting promoted.

Their difficulties include unequal access to opportunities for development; unclear information about training opportunities; and stereotyping. This is resulting in persistent in-work poverty, and a disproportionate number of ethnic minorities in low-paid work.

'In-work poverty, ethnicity and workplace cultures' found that while many organisations support career progression, informal workplace practices trap some people in low-paid work. These practices undermine equal opportunities policies and disproportionately affect ethnic minorities.

The report’s lead authors, Maria Hudson and Gina Netto call for better understanding of the role of workplace cultures in routes out of poverty for people of all ethnicities.

The study identifies a number of ways that employers can address the issues, including:

  • Taking a strategic approach towards developing the skills of low-paid workers.
  • Including staff-development opportunities in managers’ objectives
  • Monitoring not only recruitment but also development activity and progression.

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