Item details

Date: Nov 16th, 2008

Type: Rolling news

Newshound: Ian Dunn

Black women earn more than white women

Black women in Britain now earn more money than white women according to the Office for National Statistics.

The statistics, based on the labour force survey which is the most authoritative and up-to-date study of pay and conditions, show that "black Caribbean" women on average £462 a week in the three months between October this year, which is 6% more than white women.

According to figures from last year, white women earned more than 7% than black women. The earnings of black women first overtook during the first three months of 2008, with the pay gap increasing gradually since then.

The increasing gap is said to have been caused by a number of different factors. One is that half of all black women live in London, where average pay is higher than other parts of the country. Also, black women tend to less time off work when having children resulting in lower pay penalties when returning to work. Black women also have many jobs in health and social services, where pay has been rising.

Yana Johnson, a cosmetics entrepreneur whose parents moved to Birmingham from Jamaica after World War Two said she was pleased by the findings. She said, "[My parents were] part of the Windrush generation. When that generation came over they had to work really, really hard and they sometimes felt they missed out on opportunities, so they were determined their daughters wouldn't miss out."

Colleen Harris, Downing Street's first black press officer and founder of the Dignity Management Consultancy, which advises on equality, said that while she was, "cynical about the figures", she did add: "Black women do work very hard, and often they are the single earner in a household and have the whole weight of a family on their shoulders."

Story from The Sunday Times