• Tuesday, April 23, 2024


‘Over-45 BAME women employed in public sector are most disadvantaged’

Representational image by iStock

By: Pooja Shrivastava

WOMEN from ethnic minority communities, who are over-45 and employed in the public sector, are England’s most disadvantaged workers, says a recent report which also states that racism is experienced more in public sector than private sector, despite the former having more diversity campaigns.


Titled “The Equity Effect”, the new report from Henley Business School states that there has been a strong progress for young ethnic minority males (aged 18-44 years), but it is still a long way to go for their female counterparts aged 45+.

In contrast to their younger male counterparts, 74 per cent of 45+ BAME women don’t feel safe speaking up at work and challenging the way things are done, 73 per cent feel they they can not bring their true authentic self to the workplace while 75 per cent of these women are feel they are less respected by the people they work with, states the report.

Exploring the state of racial equity in UK businesses and whether the fundamental issue of racial discrimination in workplaces still exists, the report highlights how public sector employees are more than twice as likely to have reported discrimination in the workplace compared to their private sector counterparts, adding that about 71 per cent of public sector employees from ethnic minority backgrounds feel less confident to speak up and challenge seniors, leaders and colleagues than private sector workers.

Director of Equity- Diversity and Inclusion at Henley Business School, Dr Naeema Pasha, said, “Our report shows that racism is experienced much more in the public sector than the private sector, despite public sector organisations often having the most strongly worded diversity campaigns. This means the messages in the strategy are not coming through the organisation as an experience.” 

Pasha further said that senior leaders need to put their equity plans at the heart of the business strategy and businesses should take very clear steps which are “penned in ‘The Equity Effect’”.

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