Women believe race hinders career choice

British
women believe that race can limit their choice of jobs and affect progression up
the career ladder, according to a new survey.

Research
conducted by the Commission for Racial Equality found that two-thirds of white
and three-quarters of non-white women think race limits career choice and
progression.

The
poll of 1,100 women also revealed that only half of those questioned thought
that Britain was a society based on equal opportunities.

Beverley
Bernard, deputy chairwoman of the CRE, said that many private sector firms fail
to even measure the diversity of employees and the findings should serve as a
warning to employers:

"Employers
should take note because they cannot afford to ignore the concerns of half of
Britain’s workforce. Women are paid less, promoted less often and face greater
harassment at work. Ethnic minority women face all  these problems with the added dimension of racial discrimination
on top," she said.

"There’s
a poverty of management around diversity and that puts firms at risk. Companies
should be much smarter at managing diversity."

Despite
this, only one in four women were in favour of positive discrimination in the
workplace, and where they expressed a choice it was more on the grounds of age
than race.

"We
don’t want what could be seen as special treatment for minorities. They need
support through things like informal networks," Bernard said.

www.cre.gov.uk

By Ross Wigham

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