Research finds ethnic minority low paid workers face more barriers to promotion

Sep 26, 2013

Heriot-Watt academic Gina Netto is one of the lead authors of a report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which shows 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, 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 role of workplace cultures

The report's lead authors, Gina Netto, Reader in Heriot-Watt's School of the Built Environment, and independent consultant Maria Hudson, call for better understanding of the role of workplace cultures in routes out of poverty for people of all ethnicities.

Opportunities to progress to better paid jobs and to develop should be equally accessible to all employees.

Gina Netto said, "Opportunities to progress to better paid and to develop should be equally accessible to all employees. It is important that organisations take steps to ensure that all levels of their reflect the multi-ethnic nature of UK society."

Maria Hudson said, "Managers who provide regular, constructive feedback and offer to employees to develop tend to be the exception rather than the norm. We found many examples of unsupportive management that was holding back staff from career progression. ''

How to address the issues

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.

The report also highlights the need for DWP, Work Programme providers and Jobcentre Plus to focus on the issues of low skills and low pay if they are to successfully tackle in work and make Universal Credit work.

Explore further: Racial differences exist in reports of workplace drug testing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Get some balance - make flexible work policies work

Jan 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Most organisations' flexible work policies sit idly in policy documents, employees too uncomfortable to implement them because they might be frowned upon by employers or co-workers for deviating from the ...

Recommended for you

When rulers can't understand the ruled

13 hours ago

Johns Hopkins University political scientists wanted to know if America's unelected officials have enough in common with the people they govern to understand them.

When casualties increased, war coverage became more negative

17 hours ago

As the number of U.S. casualties rose in Afghanistan, reporters filed more stories about the conflict and those articles grew increasingly negative about both the war effort and the military, according to a Penn State researcher. ...

Poll surveys residents of two war-torn African nations

22 hours ago

Researchers fanned out in one of the most dangerous corners of the globe late last year, asking residents of a brutalized part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) their thoughts on violence, security, ...

Drunk driving women treated differently than men

22 hours ago

A study by Victoria University of Wellington's Health Services Research Centre explores attitudes and behaviours surrounding women and drink-driving, and the extent to which they have changed over the past decade.

User comments : 0