In-work poverty, ethnicity and workplace cultures JRF Poverty ...
In-work poverty, ethnicity and workplace cultures JRF Poverty & Ethnicity Programme Breakout session presentation for BTEG-Inclusion conference on Increasing ethnic minority employment 4th February 2013 Research aims Relationship between in-work poverty, workplace cultures, ethnicity Informal work practices: shaping opportunities, winners and losers Discriminatory attitudes and behaviour Employees attitudes and actions vs employers How to create change
Large Employer sample supporting exploration of cultures of progression Private sector 1 Hotel 2 Facilities management companies HotelCo (urban area) FacilitiesCo1 (urban area) FacilitiesCo2 (urban/ semi-rural area) Public sector
2 Councils 2 NHS Trusts 1 NHS good practice case study Council1 (urban area) Council2 (semi-rural area) NHS1 (urban area) NHS2 (urban area) NHS3 (urban/ semi-rural areas) Social enterprise sector 2 Housing organisations
Housing1 (semi-rural area) Housing2 (urban area) Low paid worker sample 65 interviews Scotland (30), England (35) Slightly more females than males Majority aged 18-55 Migrant workers (31), BME (17) White British/Scottish/Irish (17) 31 ethnicities: Central + Eastern Europeans Black British, British Asian, African
Typical jobs: domestics, cleaners, waiters, catering staff, support staff, carers, clerical roles 38 full-time workers and 26 part-time workers (17 women, 9 men) 19 claiming at least one benefit (excluding child benefit) 7 claim Working Tax Credit + Child Tax Credit, 6 claim Child
Tax Credit 17% Muslim, 26% Catholics Three self identified as disabled Individual income: 5-25K Largest number: 10-15K 25 households income less than 25K per year Under claiming: esp migrant workers The case studies and the business case for
diversity Number and Clearly articulated business case for diversity Poorly articulated range of business case for initiatives diversity And bcd specific to one business aim And bcd related to multiple business aims Least developed FacilitiesCo2
HotelCo Housing2 FacilitiesCo1 Most developed NHS1 Housing 1 NHS2 Council2 Council1 Restructuring and equalities in
supply chains Out-sourcing in public / social enterprise sector case studies Equal opportunities policies in procurement/ supply chains A window on supply chains: FacilitiesCo1 & FacilitiesCo2 Ethnic minority recruitment & progression Case studies in super-diverse urban areas Progress in recruitment Next step, progression gap (e.g. Council1) Case studies in diverse semi-rural areas
Working on recruitment and community representation (e.g. Housing1) Equal Opportunities? The gap between policy and practice We need to understand that there may be a formal organisational culture proclaiming common values and beliefs, but behind this faade there are likely to be different informal subcultures reflecting distinct values and beliefs. (from Noon & Blyton, 1997, The Realities of Work) The realities of low paid work LACK OF ADVICE,
COACHING, MENTORING, WORK SHADOWING UNSUPPORTIVE LINE MANAGEMENT LACK OF STEPPING STONES RIGIDITY OF PROGRESSION REQUIREMENTS
LOW WAGE TRAPS LITTLE SCOPE FOR HORIZONTAL MOVEMENT EXPLOITATIO N INEFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT
REVIEWS LEARNING TO WORK UNDEREMPLOYMENT Key point: Low paid workers across all ethnicities affected by.. ...Low wage traps Wasted potential Ethnicity & organisational subcultures CONFIDENCE, ESOL
NEEDS, LACK OF ROLE MODELS FAVOURITISM BULLYING, HARASSMENT, BANTER ETHNICITY AFFECTS PRACTICE S HOURS OF WORK & ACCESS TO ESOL
CLASSES STEREOTYPING COMMUNITY LANGUAGE SKILLS, ESOL & SOCIAL NETWORKS UNDEREMPLOYMENT Management mindsets & behaviours Conscious and unconscious bias Impacts: Morale, trust, aspiration
Reinforcing progression ceilings Persistent underemployment and inwork poverty Key point: Additional layers of disadvantage for BME/ migrant workers Ethnicity affects progession ceilings Wasted potential The most deprived people are going to stay deprived, if there is no support, if there is nothing to get them out of that. We do need extra support, we dont have people in our families whose higher income can support us, so who do we turn to?...If we dont get the right
support, the right encouragement, we are just going to stay at the bottom. (Council2, low paid worker, Bangladeshi woman) Emerging solutions Suggestions for providing routes to better paid work Bench-marking and ethnic monitoring More monitoring/ better data Pro-active use of the data! Acknowledging gap between official cultures & informal cultures
Closer organisational scrutiny of informal cultures Step 1? Appointment of Director of Culture change Community engagement, worklessness & labour market progression Creative thinking & progression initiatives Integrating equality? Example 1: Example 2: Example 3: Example 4: Example 5: Pre-employment programmes
Linking tenants with adult education Apprenticeship schemes PATH Trainees/ positive action Talent Pools Promoting career development among low paid workers Awareness of subconcious bias and recognition of potential Working to learn, not learning to work Informal training/ coaching /mentoring Work placements Positive role models, good news stories Widening social networks, workplace interactions, horizons Creative progression planning
I think it is the image they are projecting, it makes people feel like they cant go for certain roles. So maybe they just need to have a different approach, better communication with their staff, that the opportunities are available for everyoneAnd maybe, when they are doing adverts or something, they should put a few black faces Otherwise certain people will not go to certain places. (HR Manager, FacilitiesCo1) Summary Gap between equal opportunities policy and reality for low paid workers
Low wage traps and progression ceilings Wasted potential Changing management mindsets & behaviour A more strategic organisational approach Leadership and tailored approaches Workshop discussion questions How can low paid worker career progression be supported? What kinds of interventions will challenge negative informal workplace cultures? How do we encourage employer/ management take-up of good practice?
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