engage magazine issue 001 spring \'06 - Page 36

36 NEWS FOCUS News / Female Employees Double discrimination for Black and Asian female employees A report published by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) ‘Black women and employment’ - reveals that Black and Asian women are more likely to be out of work than White women, have more problems finding suitable employment, and often have to settle for work for which they are over-qualified. The report is based on labour market data and a survey by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). As a result of the findings of the report, the TUC and the EOC have released a statement calling on the Government, employers and unions to look again at ways in which they can improve the position of Black and Asian women in the UK labour market. Engage brings you the key points of the report and gets opinions and reactions on the issue. Key points: - The unemployment rate among Black women (5.4 per cent) is almost twice that of White women (2.9 per cent), and is only slightly lower among Asian women (4.8 per cent). - Over half of Pakistani women (56 per cent) and Black Caribbean women (54 per cent) aged 16-34 said they often had difficulty getting a job. Almost half of Bangladeshi women (49 per cent) said they often or sometimes struggled to find work. This compares to just over a third (34 per cent) of White British women who said that finding work was sometimes a problem. - While just over one in 20 of the White British women (6 per cent) said they ended up taking a job below their skill levels, almost a quarter (22 per cent) of Pakistani women had accepted jobs for which they were over qualified. - In interviews, while only 14 per cent of White British women had been asked about plans to get married or have children, a fifth (21 per cent) of Bangladeshi women, around a quarter of Black Caribbean (24 per cent) and Pakistani women (26 per cent) were questioned on these areas. - Black and Asian women are more likely to be working in temporary, less secure forms of employment than White women. Official statistics show that (9.4 per cent) of Black women and (8.3 per cent) of Asian women, compared to just (5.7 per cent) of White women are on fixed term contracts or working as temps with an employment agency. - Almost a third of all Black Caribbean women work in health and social work, compared to less than a fifth of White women. Even though: - Working Black Caribbean women are 8 per cent more likely to have a degree than White women. Yet only 9% of Black Caribbean women are managers/senior managers, compared to 11% of White women. - Chinese women are more likely to be self-employed by women from any other ethnic group. White women are second. - Young Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Caribbean women were significantly more likely than young White British women to say that opportunities for progression were important for them when choosing a job. engage SPRING ISSUE 200