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Black, Asian Employees at Top Accounting Firm Paid 13 Percent Less Than Other Workers


PwC says its goal is to achieve by 2020 a diversity of at least 10 percent ethnic minorities among partner staff in the Big 4 accounting firm’s U.K. division. (AP photo)

Recent data from multi-national accounting firm PwC revealed that its Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers in the United Kingdom are paid less, 13 percent less to be exact, than other employees at the multi-national company.

PwC, one of the top four accounting firms on the globe, maintained that while BAME and non-BAME workers are paid equally for similar roles, BAME employees statistically earned less because more of them worked in junior or administrative positions rather than senior roles, BBC reported. Bonuses for BAME workers were also a third lower, on average than those for other employees.

The self-published report comes as the company works to address the racial wage gap between white and nonwhite workers. Reporting on BAME pay currently isn’t required under U.K. law.

“The more transparent we are with our diversity and social mobility data, the more we hold ourselves accountable to achieving real change,” PwC chairman Kevin Ellis said in a statement. “Our priority is to do all we can to retain our junior BAME talent and improve rates of progression to senior management levels.”

The BAME report was released Monday, Sept. 19, alongside gender pay gap figures, which the firm has voluntarily published since 2014 in an effort to “shine a light on gender issues.”

“We’re hoping that BAME pay reporting can do the same for tackling ethnicity challenges,” the company added.

Its gender pay gap for 2017 was recorded at 13.7 percent, down from 15.2 percent in 2016, the report showed.

Now, the firm is hoping to fix these issues by ensuring at least a tenth of its partners are ethnically diverse by 2020 (it’s currently 7 percent), and that women comprise at least 24 percent of its partners in the same time frame, The Financial Times reported. Women currently account for 19 percent of partners at present.

“I applaud PwC for leading the way on this,” Helena Morrissey, a leading campaigner for gender diversity in the workplace, told the publication.

“The fact that [these issues are] hard to fix does not mean we shouldn’t try, or that measuring [pay gap data] is an academic exercise, Morrisey added. “It’s all part of a big and genuine effort to really shake up the status quo at the top of many of our companies, and that has to be a good thing.”

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