Stop the ethnic pay gap

As reported in the Southwark News I recently challenged the Council on its bad and growing ethnic pay gap.

Pay gap reporting is so important because it helps you see when things are going wrong. I applaud the Council’s transparency on its shocking 14.7% ethnic pay gap, but now we need to fix it. Based on my experience, you can make progress quickly if you do two things:

  1. Figure out why it’s happening, and don’t make excuses. Why are ethnic minority people more likely to be in junior roles? Do they get promoted less? Why? Ask people who have left the organisation, they’ll know what’s wrong

  2. Take steps the law allows. Positive action rules allow you to do a lot to make sure you’re seeing a diverse set of candidates. If you’re not doing that – why not?

At the meeting of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee we didn’t get much time to figure out what’s going wrong. So I brought the issue to the Scrutiny Commission I chair where we dug deeper into the issue.

There was a lack of clarity on who in the Council really owned the problem. Because of this, our core recommendation was that the Leader of the Council takes formal responsibility for closing the growing ethnic minority pay gap.