Monday, 11 October 2010

Britain: It's just not fair!

Let's be provocative!

Every three years the Equality and Human Rights Commission is required to report to Parliament on the progress that society is making in relation to equality, human rights and good relations.The first such review was laid before parliament yesterday.

The headline on the BBC website accompanying the publication depressingly announces: "Gender pay gap progress grinding to a halt" and goes on to explain that:
Attempts to close the pay gap between men and women appears to be "grinding to a halt", the Equality and Human Rights Commission has said. Its wide-ranging 700-page report said women on average earned 16% less than men, widening to 27% for women aged 40.
But the EHRC report focuses on much more than just pay differences between men and women.

If you're already feeing a bit down today, then I suggest that you skip the rest of this article. Here are some of the other findings of the EHRC report:

  • Black Caribbean and Pakistani babies are twice as likely to die in their first year as Bangladeshi and white British babies.
  • The highest performing group at 16 are Chinese girls, with those on free school meals outranking every other group except better-off Chinese girls.
  • White British boys on free school meals are the lowest performers at school, apart from Gypsy and traveller children.
  • Women with degrees face a 4% loss in lifetime earnings as a result of motherhood, while mothers with no qualifications face a 58% loss.
  • 50% of disabled adults are in work compared to 79% of non-disabled adults.
  • The number of women prisoners has nearly doubled since 1995 in England and Wales, and in Scotland since 2000.
  • One in eight people in England provide unpaid care to adults.
  • Disabled men earn 11% less than other male workers, while the gap is 22% for women.
  • Black graduates earn up to 24% less than their white counterparts.
  • Total household wealth of the top 10% in society is almost 100 times higher than for the poorest 10%
  • Men and women from the highest social class can expect to live for up to seven years longer than those from lower socio-economic groups.

It's perhaps all too easy to turn the spotlight on the pay gap between men and women, but that's far from the full picture.

As the EHRC reports states:
21st Century Britain faces the danger of a society divided by the barriers of inequality and injustice. For some, the gateways to opportunity appear permanently closed, no matter how hard they try; whilst others seem to have been issued with an 'access all areas' pass at birth.
So, my fellow HR professionals, what are you going to do about it?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Graham, I hope you don't mind me contacting you via your blog. I would like to send you an invitation to an HR bloggers event but I don't have your email address. Could you possibly email me at Thanks