Report on ‘In-work Poverty, Ethnicity and Workplace Cultures’

‘In-work Poverty, Ethnicity and Workplace Cultures’ by Maria Hudson, Gina Netto, Filip Sosenko, Mike Noon, Philomena de Lima, Alison Gilchrist and Nicolina Kamenou-Aigbekaen, in partnership with CEMVO Scotland and Voice4Change England, was published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) in September 2013.

This research is part of JRF’s focus on the links between poverty and ethnicity, and examines the role of workplace cultures in routes out of poverty for people of all ethnicities.

With a high representation of ethnic minorities in low-paid work, and falling demand for low-level skills, this publication reveals the need for skills development and career progression for all employees.

This research found that:

  • People in low-paid work across all ethnicities share difficulties in living on a low income. Many aspire to move up the career ladder, but informal workplace practices trap some workers in low-paid work.
  • Power imbalances between managers and low-paid workers shape daily interactions in which some workers were recognised and included, while others were marginalised.
  • Barriers identified by managers for low-paid worker progression include low staff turnover and workforce restructuring.
  • Additional barriers for ethnic minority staff are low self-confidence and language skills, a lack of ethnic minority role models in leadership positions and a lack of organisational understanding of ethnic minority communities.

Click here for details

Click here for blog by Helen Barnard, Programme Manager at JRF, highlighting some of the key issues

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