‘Class gap stands at 13% in top jobs’

The class gap in certain jobs stands at 13%, with women and ethnic minorities from working class backgrounds receiving significantly less pay.

legislation changes 2019

There is still a significant class pay gap at play in many professions

People from working-class backgrounds who do some of the leading professional jobs earn 13.05% less than those from middle class backgrounds for doing the same job, with working class women and those from ethnic minorities experiencing a bigger pay gap, according to a new report.

The report from the Social Mobility Foundation found those from professional-managerial origins working in the most prestigious jobs are paid over £51,000 a year, but those from working-class origins in the same jobs are paid less than £45,000 per year.

Women are paid £9,450 less than their male colleagues, even when they are both working in higher professional-managerial positions. The data shows there are considerable gender, ethnic, sectoral and intra-elite differences. People who are of Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean heritage are paid £10,432 and £8,770 less respectively than their White peers in the same jobs.

The study finds that there are pronounced differences among the ‘elite’ groupings, with the CEOs making the most money and showing the largest class pay gap of £16,749 between those from professional-managerial and working-class origins. They are followed by finance managers with a class gap of £11,427. In contrast, scientists, life science professionals, social worker/welfare professionals, engineers, journalists, and academics are paid much less and show much smaller class pay gaps. Scientists from working-class origins did not suffer any ‘class penalty’ at all. If anything, a ‘class premium’ is found. That is, scientists from working-class origins and working in top-level (NSSEC 1) positions make £4,600 more than their colleagues from professional-managerial origins.

The data shows that Northern Ireland is the region with the largest class pay gap, followed by London. The Midlands and Scotland have the smallest class pay gaps.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Fiscal Studies reports that most ethnic minority groups in Britain still suffer from a substantial pay gap compared with white employees. Its study found that while young people from south Asian backgrounds and black African groups were now more likely to attend university than white peers, minorities still trail white people on wages. The IFS report shows that the average weekly earnings of Bangladeshi men were 42% below the white average in 2019. The figure was 22% for Pakistani men and 13% for Caribbean men. However, the average British Indian man earned 13% more than the average white worker.

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