It's time to address the systemic barriers and subtle biases that hold women back from getting the salary they deserve.
“I’ve never worked in those kind of conditions. It was like fire fighting. You had young people, as well as elderly people, who were just fighting for their lives.”As a respiratory specialist, Dr Shumonta Quaderi’s life was turned upside down when Covid-19 tore through the UK last spring. The 37-year-old, from London, was worried about the virus “right from the beginning”. Beds in ICU were filling up, while ventilators were running critically low. “We were totally inundated with numbers, but this was a completely new thing for us,” she says. “We had no idea what we were dealing with. Yes, the virus attacked the lungs, but it was attacking other parts of the body as well. We were all learning together, the best way to manage and treat it.”To make matters more complicated, Dr Quaderi was also four months pregnant, with her first child. Pregnant women had been advised not to do frontline work, yet despite support from her hospital, Dr Quaderi decided to go against the advice. She had adequate PPE – though reports of “extreme shortages” elsewhere in the country were rife – and felt it was her duty to continue. “I felt really strongly and passionately about wanting to work,” she says. “It was my particular specialty, and my profession, so it would feel weird to sit back.”  Women like Dr Quaderi have been working throughout the pandemic in the very jobs that have kept the nation functioning. Many are doing so while shouldering society’s unpaid work, too – childcare, looking after elderly relatives, and housework – which still disproportionately falls to women. As the UN has said: "Women stand at the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organisers and as some of the most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of their contributions and the disproportionate burdens that women carry.”An exclusive Savanta ComRes poll* for HuffPost UK reveals women are doing more childcare, cooking and household work than before the pandemic. For those working from home, any time they may have saved from physically travelling to and from work has been filled with unpaid, domestic labour.And this shift in lifestyle is negatively impacting women’s mental health.Nearly half (47%) of the women surveyed say their mental health has declined. Two-thirds (63%) feel more anxious, while 55% feel more challenged and 53% feel more limited. Yet these experiences are seldom acknowledged. Worryingly, almost a third (32%) of women now feel less heard than they were previously. As the UK’s death toll surpasses 124,000 – the highest per capita of any country in the world – many are dealing with these life-altering challenges amid grief.  Professor Shani Orgad, a sociologist at the London School of Economics, says that while she’s not surprised by the findings, she is “deeply disappointed and alarmed by them”.  When people say the pandemic has set back the cause of gender equality ‘to the 1950s’ we should all take this very, very seriously.Professor Shani Orgad, LSE“Crises like the pandemic reveal and exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities. So the pandemic has deepened a crisis of care and gender and racial inequalities that existed before,” Professor Orgad tells HuffPost UK.“There has been mounting evidence – already before the pandemic – showing that women (more than men), especially those aged 35 to 49 with caring responsibilities for both children and elderly parents, suffer from stress and mental health problems as a result of the current crisis in social care.“Women were therefore the obvious ‘shock absorbers’ of the pandemic.”For Amahra Spence, a 29-year-old business owner from Birmingham, it’s felt “impossible” to work from home while homeschooling a four-year-old and raising a newborn. “I’ll have a meeting at 8am while I’m feeding one. Then the other one’s setting up his laptop for a class at 9am. Then I’ll go into another meeting, and all the while I’ve got my baby on my lap,” she says.“I am so tired. I am exhausted. It’s really hard.”Spence doesn’t think women have been valued enough for this juggling act and was saddened to hear of companies targeting working mothers for redundancy or furlough.According to research by the campaign group Pregnant then Screwed, almost half (46%) of working mothers made redundant believe a lack of childcare provision played a role in their redundancy. Meanwhile, 65% of mothers who have been furloughed say a lack of childcare was the reason. “There is mounting evidence showing that women have suffered huge financial penalties largely because of caring responsibilities,” says Professor Orgad.“Women are losing their jobs at four times the rate of men; women especially in the lowest socioeconomic groups were more likely to be furloughed, women have been forced to cut their working hours and scale back their careers,” she says. “So, when people say the pandemic has set back the cause of gender equality ‘to the 1950s’ we should all take this very, very seriously.” They say it takes a village to raise a child and I’ve realised with the absence of my village, how true that is.Amahra Spence, 29, BirminghamSpence is relieved that schools are finally reopening. In her view, homeschooling is something that’s become worryingly “trivialised” over the past year.“People are joking and laughing [but] I’m speaking with other parents, friends of mine, and everybody is so stretched and emotionally broken,” she says.She gave birth to her second child in June 2020 – “slap bang in the middle of the pandemic”. Being heavily pregnant during the first wave was “just really nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing”, she says, not least because she had to attend appointments alone while hospitals limited visitor numbers due to Covid.Spence was terrified of giving birth alone, too, after seeing heartbreaking “lines of fathers outside” on her visits.In the end, she entered active labour five minutes after arriving at the hospital, so her partner was allowed in for the remainder of her fast, one-hour birth. However, the challenges continued for the couple. Their son was born with complex health needs, meaning they had to navigate a series of hospital appointments amid ongoing Covid restrictions. It’s made the lack of contact time with friends and family all the more difficult. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’ve really realised with the absence of my village, how true that is,” says Spence. “I’ve found it terrifying. I’ve found it really, really scary and I’ve found it really, really sad.” Others have struggled, too. More than half of the women we surveyed (51%) said they are “less happy” than they were before the pandemic. This increases to 54% among parents. Money worries factor into this. While 24% of women said the pandemic has had a positive impact on their household finances, 32% reported a negative effect. The rest remain unchanged.Spence, who runs a social justice arts organisation, says her “finances have been stretched to the brink” this year. “I thought that we might have to close the business last year,” she adds. “Thankfully we got some emergency grants that kept us afloat.”  You just get on with it, protect yourself as best you can.Monica Sullery, 58, NottinghamFor Monica Sulley, a 58-year-old bus driver from Nottingham, finances have also been tricky. When bus drivers test positive for Covid or are told to self-isolate via Test and Trace, they receive statutory sick pay, which is set at £95.85 per week. “You don’t get paid for the first three days, so the first week off you’ve lost about £40,” she says. “And you can’t live on that.” Sulley worked as a Tesco delivery driver during the summer, but returned to bus driving – a job she’d previously done for 15 years – in October. She had missed bus work and wanted to get back, despite the risks – she’d read of bus drivers dying from Covid and personally knew a driver who’d died in Nottingham.“If I’m honest, I didn’t really think about it,” she says of the danger. “You know, it’s one of those things, if you do think about it you’re gonna go mad. You’re not gonna be able to work. So you just get on with it, protect yourself as best you can.”The hardest part of the job has been dealing with non-compliant passengers, who refuse to wear face masks or follow social distancing measures on the bus. But the overwhelming majority of the public have been grateful for the continued service, she says.One regular passenger, an elderly man, seemed confused by the new rules, so Sulley bought him a pack of face masks. “You just help people where you can,” she says. “We’re in a strange situation.”During her toughest week on shift, around 30 staff members were off work self-isolating. Sulley says the government has supported bus companies financially, but this help has not extended down to drivers. Four in 10 women (40%) surveyed by HuffPost said they didn’t feel government support for women had changed during the pandemic, despite the challenges  faced. Almost a third (29%) said they felt less supported by the government than they had previously, while 20% felt less supported by their employer. While passenger numbers are down on the bus network, work was busier than ever when Sulley was driving for Tesco in June, when there was an unprecedented number of bookings. “It was hard work. I mean, you could be moving three tons of groceries by hand a day quite easily. Great for your figure!” she laughs. “But it was busy. People weren’t wanting to go out and we had a lot of people who were shielding. It wasn’t unusual to be doing 30 deliveries a day.” I was going to work with all these people and in my mind there was a good chance I could catch Covid and bring it home.Deborah Stevens, 59, HertfordshireMany others continued shopping in-person, coming into close contact with supermarket staff like Deborah Stevens, who has worked on the check-outs and shop floor in Tesco for 30 years. The 59-year-old, from Hertfordshire, has three grown-up children, including a daughter, 20, who is living at home with Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) and Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), meaning she needs to shield. The government’s policy dictates that people living with shielders must still go to work if they can’t work from home. It leaves Stevens constantly worrying about catching Covid at work, then infecting her vulnerable daughter. “I knew I had to cope with it though, because I had to work financially,” she says. Work was particularly tough early in the pandemic, when some customers still acted as though the virus was “like flu” and lunged forwards to grab products off the shelf.“It was like every person coming towards you was going to hurt you,” Stevens recalls. “I worried, extremely – it was all on my shoulders. I was going to work in this place with all these people and in my mind there was a good chance I could catch it and bring it home. It was very, very hard. I was constantly jumping out of people’s way. I was having heart palpitations a lot of the time.” She made the decision to wear a face mask at work long before they were made mandatory by the government. She says this made her a “target” in some respects, with customers who thought she was being a “drama queen”. “I felt torn, I wanted to take it off because of the response, but I had to keep it on because of my family,” she says. Things got easier as face masks rules were introduced and the public started to take the virus seriously. Thankfully, Stevens’ family has avoided falling ill.Dr Nisreen Alwan, who has juggled roles as an associate professor in public health at the University of Southampton and working as a hospital consultant, while single-handedly caring for three children, has not been so fortunate.The 46-year-old caught coronavirus early on in March 2020 and says she has never fully recovered. Her personal experience, coupled with her research into public health, has led to her becoming a leading voice on long Covid, raising awareness around the globe.Dr Alwan is also known for her research on the health and wellbeing of women and children, and speaks out about the importance of a safe return to school. Talking publicly about such issues has led her to face abuse on social media. Globally, women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online, according to the online abuse charity Glitch. “The attacks are usually very superficial and thoughtless, and with time you learn how to deal with them,” she says. “But sometimes it can be quite aggressive or passive aggressive.”Contracting Covid as a single parent of three children aged seven, 13 and 17  was anxiety-inducing. Lockdown restrictions meant she was unable to access additional support, at a point when we still didn’t know much about the virus. “It was really me and my children trying to manage the situation,” she says. What was already a demanding career ramped up as she struggled to recover – Dr Alwan is doing her day job, while also keeping up to date with the latest science and public health research in regards to the virus and communicating it to the general public. “I constantly feel I’m not on top of anything,” she says. “There aren’t enough hours in the day.” I would describe it as living at work, rather than working at home. It’s difficult to stop.Dr Nisreen Alwan, 46, SouthamptonSeveral of the women who spoke to HuffPost UK said their working days have become markedly longer than pre-pandemic.Dr Alwan crammed her interview into a Monday lunch break, after submitting a body of work at 9pm the night before. “I would describe it as living at work, rather than working at home. It’s difficult to stop,” she says.The past year has been “a particularly difficult period” physically and mentally, she adds – a sentiment echoed by 56-year-old Carmen De Pablo, a languages teacher who is assistant head of inclusion at a secondary school in Plymouth.De Pablo was told to shield last March as she has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) – a type of cancer affecting the white blood cells that develops slowly over time.  Shielding has changed her life “immensely,” says De Pablo, who lives with her husband and daughter. “It’s been very challenging, I must say. During the first lockdown I found it really difficult to not feel isolated from school.”While De Pablo says her “first class” colleagues have been incredibly supportive while she’s been working from home, she’s been wracked with feelings of guilt about not being there in person to help out. She sometimes feels like a fraud, she says, because health-wise she feels fine. In her work, she has struggled with getting used to doing everything online and not being able to have quick catchups with colleagues – there is a constant worry in the back of her mind that she’s emailing too much.A typical day starts early and involves planning and posting two or three lessons on Google Classroom, ensuring children have access to them and that they’re logging in – and out. In school everything is a rush, having a full break is unheard of. I’ve found it is the same here.Carmen De Pablo, 56, PlymouthThere are meetings with her team, leadership and parents, and sometimes the police, as her role includes safeguarding children and vulnerable families. She’ll eat dinner between 6-7pm, and try to get some “me time”, before working through the evening until 10pm. “And then that’s it, the following day starts.”“When we’re in school everything is a rush… and having a full break is unheard of,” she says. “I’ve found it is the same here, I’m working longer hours than if I’m in school.” Knowing she’s helping pupils through a challenging time is what’s kept her going . “Interactions with the children are priceless,” she says. For Amahra Spence, in Birmingham, watching her own children flourish has also been a key motivator. Monica Sulley, meanwhile, credits her husband, Pete, and their family with getting her through the tougher days. On top of her work as a delivery and bus driver this past year, she’s also a Scout leader, union branch chair, mother to two, stepmother to one and grandmother to eight. “Don’t ask me how many nieces and nephews I’ve got, because I really don’t know,” she jokes. “Somebody said: ‘If you want something doing, give it to a busy woman.’ It’s actually quite true.” For Dr Alwan in Southampton, connecting and supporting long Covid sufferers across the country and world has given her a sense of purpose through her own illness. She was featured in the BBC’s 100 Women of 2020 for her work during the pandemic, which she calls a “great honour”. “That was a nice moment for me, because it just reflects the range of power, strength, and innovation that women can bring,” she says of the list.Work at Tesco has been reaffirming for Deborah Stevens, too. “Women are much stronger than they believe,” she says. “The more they try, the more they can achieve. They’ve got through everything else, they will get through this.” Dr Quaderi is now on maternity leave and her baby is almost seven months old. She’ll forever be proud of the work she completed while pregnant on ICU: “It was amazing to be able to be a part of it and help those that we could.” Across healthcare, housing, employment and education, the pandemic has laid bare the many social, racial and gender-based inequalities underpinning life in the UK, but Professor Orgad’s hope is that it will trigger a profound rethinking about the value that society ascribes to different types of work.“Perhaps this pandemic will serve as a wake-up call, to alert us and our politicians to the urgent need to value – not only by clapping and expressing gratitude – the people who do work that has been rightly called ‘key’ and ‘essential’, and, crucially, to value the largely unpaid invisible work in the home that is performed disproportionately by women,” she says. In many ways, it’s been a historical year for women. But you shouldn’t be surprised by any of the stories you’ve heard. “Women are, once again, the heroines of the world,” says Spence. “Women are inherently resilient. We’re survivors, and we will always make something work.” *On behalf of HuffPost UK, Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,398 UK women aged 18+ online from February 26 to March 1. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK women by age and region. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.Related...Yes, Coronavirus Is A War. And Women Are On The Front Lline'I Lock Myself In The Loo' – The Claustrophobia Of Parenting Right NowOpinion: The Gender Pay Gap Is About To Get A Lot Worse'No One Is Protecting Us': Bus Drivers On Front Line Slam Lack Of Coronavirus PrecautionsWe Are Single Parents In A Pandemic. We're Coping But Don't Forget UsOpinion: Lockdown Was Fatal For Women And Girls. 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A day after Kelly Ellis quit MailChimp, accusing it of "sexism and bullying," MailChimp said its investigation found her claims "unsubstantiated."
Most minority ethnic groups continued to earn less than white British employees in 2019, new data has shown.The ethnicity pay gap differs across regions and is largest in London at 23.8% and smallest in Wales at 1.4%, latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicate.The pay gap between white people and minority ethnic groups is larger for employees aged 30 and over than for those in the 16 to 29 age bracket.Overall, the gap between between these groups has narrowed to its smallest level since 2012 in England and Wales.CORRECTION: Most minority ethnic groups continued to earn less than White British employees in 2019.However, those in the Chinese, White Irish, White and Asian, and Indian ethnic groups earned higher average hourly pay than White British employees— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) October 12, 2020All data were collected before the impact of the Covid-19 on the UK economy.Dianne Greyson is the director of Equilibrium Mediation Consulting Ltd – a HR consultancy advises the public and private sector on equality and diversity.In 2018, she established the #EthnicityPayGap campaign for awareness around the issue, which has since been backed by the Fawcett Society, Equality Trust and Good Governance Institute. “I have been campaigning for over two and a half years to get the ethnicity pay gap addressed. The #EthnicityPayGap campaign continues to raise issues about the disparity between ethnic minorities and their white counterparts,” she said.“What continues to surprise me is the lack of debate about this issues. If organisations can hold debates about the gender pay gap, why can they not discuss the ethnicity pay gap?” Greyson feels that the issue has not been given the attention it warrants because decision makers invariably fail to prioritise the interests of ethnic minority communities.A petition calling for the government to mandate ethnicity pay gap reporting for individual companies garnered over 100,000 signatures – but has yet to be debated in parliament despite meeting the consideration criteria. In an official response published via the page on July 30, the government said it ran a consultation from October 2018 to January 2019 on the introduction of mandatory ethnicity pay reporting. It is currently analysing these and will respond by the end of this year.“The government has yet to demonstrate their desire to make ethnicity paygap reporting mandatory,” said Greyson. “This has slipped far down the agenda.“While I appreciate the times we are currently living in has caused the government to focus their attention on the important issue of Covid, I do hope they will debate it in parliament given that there has been over 100,000 people who have signed the petition to make ethnicity pay gap reporting mandatory.”The call for more data around the ethnic pay gap has been ongoing. Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, a Conservative peer and former chief executive of outsourcing group Mitie, authored an independent review into racial disparities in the British workplace in February 2017.She recommended that the government force companies to introduce ethnic pay gap reporting. However, three and a half years later, none of the key recommendations from her report has been implemented. On the other hand, organisations with more than 250 employees have had to publish data on their gender pay gaps since 2018.The same year, think-tank Resolution Foundation revealed that Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees are losing out on £3.2bn a year in wages compared to white colleagues doing the same work. Related... Opinion: Brits Still Have To Learn To Appreciate Black People As Much As Their Music Chadwick Boseman Took Pay Cut To Give Sienna Miller Salary She 'Deserved' Women Who Started A Business During Lockdown On How They Made It Work
Posted by NicoleDeLeonPeople around the world are having important discussions about systemic racism, overt and covert bias, and how we can all do better. Understanding the problem is the first step. To get a sense of conditions within the SEO community, we asked people to take our Diversity and Inclusion in SEO survey as part of our ongoing project to study the state of SEO. Due to the subject matter and the way we reached out, our respondents were not a snapshot of the industry as a whole. We were very pleased to have 326 SEOs complete the survey, including a significant number of female, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ participants. These are important voices that need to be heard, but as we analyzed the data, we were careful not to generalize the industry as a whole without accounting for potential sampling bias. We addressed this by looking at groups separately — straight white cisgender men, BIPOC women, LGBTQ+ men, and so forth. We recognize that intersectionality is common. Many of the SEOs who shared their stories with us don’t fit neatly into a single group. We addressed that by counting people in each category that applied to them, so a gay Black man’s answers would be factored into both the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC analyses. Who participated? Of the 326 SEOs who participated, 231 respondents (70.9%) described themselves as white. Among the rest, 32 SEOs described themselves as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish; 28 Black or African American; 18 Asian or Asian American; 11 Middle Eastern or North African; eight Indian or South Asian; four Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; and three American Indian or Alaska Native. (Some people were counted in more than one category.) Our respondents included 203 SEOs who identify as women (including one transgender woman), 109 who identify as men (including two transgender men), and 11 who consider themselves nonbinary, genderqueer, two-spirit, or gender nonconformist. Three people preferred not to share their gender. With regard to sexual orientation, 72.8% described themselves as heterosexual, 25.2% as LGBTQ+, and 2% preferred not to say. About two-thirds (218 SEOs) of the participants were from the U.S., and about one in 10 (35 SEOs) were from the United Kingdom. The rest came from 26 other countries across the globe. The average age was 34.5 with 6.9 years of experience in SEO. (Please see the methodology section at the end for more details.) How is the SEO community doing with diversity and inclusion? We started our study by asking SEOs how our industry compares with the rest of the business world when it comes to discrimination and bias. More than half of our participants (57.7%) had a different career or significant job experience in another field before working in SEO, so we figured they’d be in a position to know. Overall, most people (58.7%) think SEO is about the same as other professions. But among those who disagree, more think it’s worse (26%) than better (15.2%). Surprisingly, there was also no statistically significant difference between BIPOC and white respondents when we asked about prevalence of bias in the industry. However, when we asked how big a problem it is, things got interesting. Both BIPOC and white SEOs felt much more positively about their own companies than the industry as a whole. Slightly more than 40% of both BIPOC and white SEOs said discrimination is “not a serious problem at all” within their own companies. However, almost three-quarters of BIPOC SEOs (74.0%) and more than two-thirds of white SEOs (67.5%) said bias is a “moderately serious” or “extremely serious” problem in the SEO industry. Emotions ran high in the comments for this section. Jamar Ramos, 38, the black male chief operations officer of Crunchy Links in Belmont, California wrote, “White men on SEO Twitter are the f***ing worst. They are defensive, uncouth, and destructive for the industry. So scared of losing power they will drive EVERY BIPOC from SEO if they could.” Another Black SEO, a 29-year-old woman at a Chicago agency, commented, “As a Black woman (and queer at that), I have definitely not seen a woman like me. I always (somewhat) joked around that I'll be the Queen of SEO, but underneath those words was because I saw not only women underrepresented in the industry, but other minority subsects of being a woman underrepresented as well, such as being a Black woman and/or a queer Black woman. Where are we?!!" Other perspectives were represented, as well. Said another 28-year-old Black female SEO, “I'm thrilled to work in an industry where there is the freedom to find multiple agencies that are welcoming to all, and the additional freedom to strike out on my own if I ever felt I should.” Many comments in later sections backed up these sentiments, with endorsements of the SEOs’ own companies and their diversity and inclusion policies. How bad is it? Frequency of racial or ethnic bias in SEO Our respondents were more diverse than the SEO industry as a whole, so we expect that their experiences would be a bit different, as well. Also, our survey was based on self-reporting, which can be inconsistent. That said, overall, 48.7% of our respondents told us they never experience racial or ethnic bias. Among the others, 6.7% experience racial or ethnic bias at least once a week, 10.9% at least once a month, 9.2% every couple of months, and 24.4% said it was rare but did happen on occasion. Knowing that 7 out of 10 of our respondents were white, we broke the data down by the SEOs’ self-reported ethnic backgrounds to get a clearer idea about the extent of racial or ethnic bias. Here’s what we found. Asian and Asian American SEOs were the most likely to say they experience ethnic bias at least once a week, followed by Hispanic or Latino SEOs. Most Black or African American SEOs said discrimination was a monthly or bi-monthly experience for them. Not surprisingly, white SEOs were the least likely to experience racial or ethnic bias, although about a third said they do get discriminated against based on their heritage or cultural identity. We’d like to know more about the racial and ethnic discrimination white SEOs are facing. Unfortunately, we focused on BIPOC and LGBTQ+ issues in this survey and did not include questions about religion, so we don’t know what role that might play. We also did not address ageism or disability issues. With each study we publish, we realize how much more we have to learn. We will be sure to explore those issues in future studies. Gender and LGBTQ+ bias in SEO There are a lot of forms of LGBTQ+ and gender bias. We let our survey participants interpret the phrase for themselves when asking how often they experience it. Overall, 94.1% of LGBTQ+ SEOs experience bias at least some of the time, and more than a third do so at least once a month. However, 72.5% of the heterosexual SEOs also said they feel gender discrimination at least some of the time. The impact of bias About 4 in 10 SEOs said they experienced bias in the past year. We asked them what impact it has had on their productivity, career trajectory, and happiness. Here’s what they said: 69.1% feel “Bias in the workplace has had a negative impact on my productivity and sense of engagement.” (38.3% strongly agreed; 30.8% slightly agreed)72.1% feel “Bias in the workplace has had a negative impact on my career advancement and earnings.” (39.3% strongly agreed; 32.8% slightly agreed)74.6% feel “Bias in the workplace has had a negative impact on my happiness, confidence, or well-being.” (42.6% strongly agreed; 32.0% slightly agreed) The cost of bias How do discrepancies in pay, being passed over for promotion, and other forms of discrimination add up over the course of a career? There are many variables when comparing incomes. For example, pay can vary based on years of experience, size of company, and specific expertise. We did the best we could to compare the incomes of SEOs with similar career profiles. Ultimately, we chose to focus on SEO generalists working in the United States, which gave us the largest pool of responses. We broke them down by gender, ethnicity, and age. Our sample sizes for men ranged from 8 to 22 people in each subcategory. Our sample sizes for women ranged from 13 to 35 for each subcategory. These were small groups, so the results are far from definitive. But the consistency of a disparity merits conversation. Here’s what we found. For male SEO generalists working in the United States: In their 20s, white male SEOs reported earning an average of $75,312 per year. BIPOC male SEOs in their 20s reported earning an average of $63,500 per year (18.6% less).In their 30s, white male SEOs reported earning an average of $95,833 per year. BIPOC male SEOs in their 30s reported earning an average of $89,091 per year (7.6% less).In their 40s, white male SEOs reported earning an average of $115,937 per year. BIPOC male SEOs in their 40s reported earning an average of $90,417 per year (28.2% less). For female SEO generalists working in the United States: In their 20s, white women SEOs reported earning an average of $75,384 per year. BIPOC women SEOs in their 20s reported earning an average of $61,250 per year (23% less).In their 30s, white women SEOs reported earning an average of $86,571 per year. BIPOC women SEOs in their 30s reported earning an average of $86,094 per year (0.6% less).In their 40s, white women SEOs reported earning an average of $109,375 per year. BIPOC women SEOs in their 40s reported earning an average of $101,094 per year (7.6% less). What does on-the-job bias look like? “Where are you really from?”“Are you the new diversity hire?”“But you all look alike.”“You’re Asian, so you’re good at math, right?”“You don’t speak Spanish?”“Do you play basketball?”“I think what she was trying to say was…” It can happen to anyone, but people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women hear things like this often. A microaggression is a subtle behavior directed at a member of a marginalized group. It can be verbal or nonverbal, delivered consciously or not, and can pose a cumulative, damaging effect to the receiver. Columbia University defines racial microaggressions as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities” that contain “hostile, derogatory, or negative” content or subtext. The result, according to a City University of New York study, can be “anxiety and depressive symptoms over and above the effects of non-race-specific stress.” Minority racial and ethnic groups are often targets of microaggressions, but these offenses can be directed at any marginalized group in addition to people of color, including women, people with disabilities, individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, those with mental illness, single parents, and people in lower economic classes. Many SEOs reported experiencing a cascade of microaggressions and similar offenses. A 46-year-old white woman in the U.K. with more than 15 years of experience in the field wrote, “I don’t feel I get taken at all seriously as a female SEO — to the extent that I stopped attending events years ago. It’s a total boys club, to the point of afterparties at strip clubs. As a woman, I’ve had male SEOs expect me to do all the legwork because my time is less important, and then they try and take credit for my work. When I called them out, I was met with bullying. It’s a disgusting situation to still be in after this long in the industry.” The most common microaggression reported during the past year, by more than 4 in 5 SEOs (81.4%) in our poll, was being interrupted or spoken over. Second on the list, however, was an actively offensive action: Nearly 6 in 10 reported having an idea taken by someone else (57.5%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, 44.1% of respondents reported being paid less than similarly qualified employees. A 2016 Pew Research center report supported the data on this enduring travesty with regard to race and gender. Additionally, Census Bureau data from as recently as 2018 showed that women of all races still earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. Among the 48.4% of respondents who report being talked down to or treated as less capable than similarly qualified employees, several made poignant comments to back up their responses. A 26-year-old biracial woman at a small Midwestern agency said, “I am constantly having to prove my case or strategies, even when the target audience I am marketing/optimizing for looks more like me than my colleagues. I am questioned constantly and asked to prove my work, despite being the only person at the company with the knowledge and skills to produce the work.” And one technical SEO said, “I am a white, cisgendered woman, so I have a lot of privilege, but I still have clients who feel the need to verify my recommendations with their own ‘research’ (rudimentary Google search) or by checking my advice against the opinion of white men, many of whom have less experience than I do (‘My nephew learned about SEO in college, and he says …’).” Other common verbal microaggressions reported by survey respondents include being addressed unprofessionally (41.3%), hearing crude or offensive jokes about race and ethnicity (36.1%), or about sexual orientation or gender identity (38.5%). Drilling down: specific microaggression experiences by group We asked SEOs in our survey about the types of microaggressions they’ve been exposed to in the field, and found that some types of microaggressions are more commonly experienced by certain groups. We sorted respondents into six groups based on gender, ethnicity, and LGBTQ+ orientation to see how different issues affected each demographic. In some cases, we found surprising results. At least half of SEOs in each group registered the most common microaggression: being interrupted or spoken over. In all, 91.1% of straight, white, cisgender women and 90.7% of LGBTQ+ women report this happening to them, while a surprising 82.5% of straight, white, cisgender men share the experience. Men in the BIPOC group reported barely half as many incidences of this microaggression in their experience. All three categories of women were most likely to report a pay gap and having their ideas stolen. Reports from straight, white, cisgender women (65.8%), LGBTQ+ women (60.5%), and BIPOC women (59.3%) were remarkably consistent, falling within just slightly more than six percentage points of one another. Meanwhile, men in the BIPOC group were most likely to say they’d been passed over for a promotion (41.7%), followed closely by LGBTQ+ men (40%), and women (37.2%). Bad-faith banter Conversations on the job were fertile ground for verbal microaggressions of different types. What some might consider harmless banter may not be harmless at all. We explored jokes and other verbal interactions that SEOs reported as disrespectful and hurtful. We defined four different categories and found that the most common complaint occurred among straight, white, and cisgender women, 68.4% of whom reported “being talked down to or treated as less capable than similarly qualified employees.” The other two most common complaints involved hearing “offensive jokes about race or ethnicity.” A total of 58.3% of BIPOC men reported hearing such jokes, but interestingly, even more LGBTQ+ men (60%) said they’d been exposed to this kind of inappropriate humor. And 37% of BIPOC women endured the same treatment. A disappointing wealth of examples of this egregious behavior was described in the comments. A 32-year-old white SEO who identifies as gender nonconformist described the time a “past employer, during the interview process, told me he wanted to make it clear to his (service industry) customers he wasn’t going to send any Black people to their homes. This job was rampant with racism and misogyny. I took the job out of desperation and got out as soon as I could.” Another SEO, a 37-year-old Black woman, wrote, “When starting out, I worked at a boutique agency where many people felt comfortable telling Black and Asian jokes to me. I was on time for a business trip meetup at 5 a.m. and one employee joked that he didn’t realize Black people could get up that early. I left as soon as I could get another job that wouldn’t ding my résumé.” Slightly more than 53% of LGBTQ+ women and men responded that they’d heard offensive jokes about gender identity or sexual orientation, the highest in that category. Likewise, LGBTQ+ men (20%) and women (14%) were most likely to have been asked how they got hired. Mixed messages at work Next, we considered four categories in which employees are implicitly singled out because of their membership in a marginalized group. On the one hand, we asked whether group members had been singled out to promote an appearance of diversity — through tokenism or by assigning them to resolve problems of bias. The dubious value that such a request (under the best of circumstances) might signify, though, is negated by their opposite and often accompanying tendencies: targeting certain people or groups with suspicion (by being monitored more closely) or with criticism for their being “too sensitive” to discriminatory language/behavior. LGBTQ+ men were most likely to report instances of tokenism (26.7%) and being labeled “too sensitive” (33.3%) to discrimination. BIPOC women ranked next in those categories, with 22.2% and 29.6%, respectively. Similarly, one-third of BIPOC women (33.3%) reported being supervised more closely than similarly qualified employees. The comments for this section were rife with examples, like the one from a 36-year-old Hispanic/Latino male who described “being asked to ‘woke-check’ social content to see if anything in it might trigger a backlash from the immigrant community.” Unsurprisingly, straight, white, cisgender men and women ranked in the bottom half of those reporting in each of the four categories. But men and women in other categories reported varying results. Nearly three times as many LGBTQ+ men (26.7%) as women (9.3%) said they’d experienced tokenism. Meanwhile, BIPOC women were far more likely than men — 29.6% to 8.3% — to report being labeled “too sensitive” for calling out discriminatory behavior or language.  We specifically asked BIPOC respondents to our survey how often they’d experienced three common forms of microaggression, dividing participants into four groups: Middle Eastern/North AfricanBlack/African AmericanHispanic/LatinoAsian/Asian-American All four groups reported that the most common of the three microaggressions we asked about was being complimented for being articulate or “well-spoken” — indicating an implied and unfounded expectation that they wouldn’t be. Three-quarters (75%) of Middle Eastern/North African respondents and two-thirds (66.7%) of Black/African American survey participants said this had happened to them. In addition, nearly half (47.6%) of Hispanic/Latino group members surveyed said they’d been asked where they’re “actually” from. This was at least 20 percentage points higher than for any of the other three groups. The results appear to reflect a bias against immigrants from Mexico and Central America, and a baseless distrust of their status as citizens or legal residents. The third question explored what researchers have identified as a tendency to view members of other racial or ethnic groups as interchangeable: a bias that can lead to stereotyping and discrimination. In this instance, Black/African American participants were significantly more likely (44.4%) to indicate they’d been mistaken for someone else of their race or ethnicity. How diverse are SEOs’ workplaces? Representation of diverse populations is a huge issue in the microcosm of the SEO industry, as well as the macrocosm of business and society in general. We were interested in how SEOs viewed diversity in the rosters at their workplaces, both in the rank-and-file employee roster and in executive or leadership positions. Survey respondents were nearly evenly split between working for an agency and working in-house at a company (45.9% and 42.2%, respectively), while the remainder split the difference between freelancing (5.3%) and consulting (6.6%) in the SEO field. Overall diversity levels never exceeded 15.3% for organizations of any size, hitting that level for companies with 2-10 employees and again for businesses with 251-1,000 workers. Companies with 11-25 workers turned in a percentage of 12.1%. Percentages were lowest at the largest corporations, with the worst showing (5%) at companies with 5,001-10,000 workers. Companies with more than 10,000 employees (6.5%) and with 1,001-5,000 workers (6.9%) did only slightly better. One-person companies were also relatively less likely to be diverse than other small or midsize businesses, at 7.5%. To further plumb the depths of representation in various SEO employment situations, we asked survey respondents to estimate the level of diversity in their organizations, including at leadership levels. We asked the same question for racial and ethnic diversity and for gender and LGBTQ+ diversity. BIPOC diversity In exploring diversity levels for SEOs with regard to race and ethnicity, we found a fairly even split between those that were rated “somewhat” or “very diverse” (slightly more than 54%) and those that were “not very” or not at all diverse (roughly 46%). At the extremes, roughly 16% were very diverse, and just slightly less were not diverse at all. But, as mentioned, leadership is less diverse: Fully half (50.4%) of companies said they had no diverse individuals in leadership roles, and just over 7% reported more than half of their leadership was diverse. In total, 82.5% of respondents said diverse individuals comprised less than 25% of their company’s leadership or less. At major tech companies such as Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, the bulk of racial and ethnic diversity in 2017 was represented by Asian employees, with Black and Hispanic employees making up just small slivers of the workforce. Gender and LGBTQ+ diversity When it comes to gender or sexual orientation, diversity results are slightly higher than those for race and ethnicity. More than 6 in 10 respondents (61.8%) answered that their companies were either very (20.9%) or somewhat (40.9%) diverse, compared with just 12% who said they were not diverse at all. More specifically, however, the data seems to indicate less diversity. For women, a 2018 report by the National Center for Women & Technology found that their share of the workforce at tech-related companies was 26%, far shy of the 57% for the U.S. workforce in general. Meanwhile, Black, Latina, and Native American women made up just 4% of computing jobs, even though they accounted for 16% of the overall population. The numbers for LGBTQ+ leadership in our survey were even less encouraging: More than 4 in 10 survey participants (41.7%) said their leadership teams did not include any LGBTQ+ members, while a mere 4.4% said that more than a quarter of those team members were LGBTQ+ individuals. An interesting finding: 37.4% of those who responded said they were not sure about the LGBTQ+ membership composition of their leadership teams. This would seem to indicate that many team members choose not to share their sexual orientation, suggesting a bigger-than-expected separation between private and professional life. How important is diversity in SEOs’ workplaces? In answer to the question, “Is diversity and inclusion a priority in your company,” the comments varied widely. Some respondents simply answered “No” — or if it was, they weren’t aware of it. At the other end of the spectrum were comments along the lines of “We don’t need to try; our team is just naturally diverse and inclusive.” (As with other responses, the survey cannot address the accuracy of self-assessment.) Several other comments indicated that the company strived to hire the best person for the job, “regardless of any stereotype.” Other responses were slightly more specific. Several said their companies had only started focusing on diversity in response to the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd’s death in police custody. Others indicated that their companies have an established focus on gender equality, but had only recently begun to address BIPOC or LGBTQ+ issues. A 34-year-old gay white man at a large company wrote, “Diversity and inclusion is a priority for the gender pay gap, but doesn’t include or reference race or LGBT. There’s a women’s mentor program to help promote women to higher roles, and there’s a women’s network to raise visibility.” When asked whether diversity was a priority at their company, nearly half (49.7%) of the SEOs indicated that it was — nearly three times as many as those who said it wasn’t (17.2%). One in five (20.34%) weren’t sure, and 12.8% checked “Other” and were asked to elaborate with specific responses. Roughly 19% of those questioned elected not to answer. What steps do companies take to encourage diversity and inclusion? The prevalence of “Yes” answers was encouraging. Many of these were followed up with detailed descriptions of initiatives and programs in place to promote diversity and inclusion at the respondents’ workplaces. For example, a 29-year-old Black woman who described her company as “very diverse” detailed the organization’s initiatives like this: “We have a diversity and inclusion council with men and women of all different backgrounds from across the world. We have a North American task force; we publish our diversity data; we do outreach to educational institutions including HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities] to source talent; and we have anti-racism and inclusion training.” Also, a 28-year-old woman who identifies as American Indian or Alaska Native in Austin, Texas, commented, “Our leadership has recently made great strides to take action to ensure diversity and inclusion is a topic our entire company is knowledgeable about. We are also taking actions to raise awareness about inequality in the tech industry in a landmark report about BIPOC in tech as well as finding ways to volunteer with a BIPOC kids coding organization.” The number and breadth of diversity and inclusion initiatives our SEOs described were also encouraging. These ranged from interactive activities such as diversity training sessions and workshops to company communication efforts like informative newsletters and the publication of diversity data. When it comes to personnel management, some businesses are further seeking to instill diversity and excise bias in their criteria for recruiting, hiring, and promoting. And, especially important in response to the on-the-job-learning aspects specific to the SEO field, participation in internships and mentoring programs is also a growing and well-supported option. A 28-year-old Black nonbinary SEO described several initiatives at her large agency, saying, “They have a group focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are updating their practices around recruiting and interviewing to remove any unconscious racial biases. And, providing mandatory anti-racist training for all employees.” For more detailed information on the measures companies are enacting to improve diversity and inclusion within their organizations, continue to the section below. What are some solutions? Diversity and inclusion data can look discouraging overall, but anecdotal responses told us that a breadth of measures are being taken to address disparities in representation, discriminatory practices, and inherent bias in everyday operations. Here are several of the initiatives cited by survey takers to enhance diversity and inclusion in the SEO workplace. 1. Initiatives at the corporate level Employee participation in and consultation with advisory panels and task forces was a commonly cited effort, in addition to compiling and distributing informative resources like newsletters and reading lists. Several respondents described opt-in cultural activities designed to facilitate diversity, such as setting up Slack channels around particular affinities or topics, establishing employee book clubs, and spotlighting diversity in holiday celebrations. One SEO generalist in the U.K., a 37-year-old white woman, described several activities of her company’s diversity organization, among them “[organizing] events around different holidays so everyone feels included. We celebrate Eid and Diwali, for example, and everyone in the company is encouraged to share and request days organized around things that are important to them. It’s a great initiative and I’ve learned so much from people openly sharing and discussing.” 2. Employee resource groups Affinity-based employee resource groups, or ERGs, were cited as extremely valued resources for SEOs. These groups foster safe and informed forums in which different groups can gather to discuss issues, devise requests, suggest solutions, and share information. One SEO manager, a 58-year-old white trans woman with nearly 15 years in the business, commented, “I am a five-time elected board member of the LGBTQIA ERG diversity group, Pride. We have seven ERGs here at [my company].” Depending on the workplace and its demographics and company culture, ERGs may center on shared issues of gender, age, race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+ orientation, disability, mental health, neurodiversity, religion, parenting, military or veteran status, international communities, women in leadership, and more. Naturally, any group is most effective and receives greater respect and resources when it’s sponsored and promoted by leaders at the executive level — whether or not the leaders share the demographics of the group. 3. Personal education and growth Each individual has a responsibility to self-educate on topics related to bias and discrimination, diversity, equity, and inclusion surrounding the struggle of groups historically targeted for exclusion and injustice. 4. Allies in leadership The support and advocacy of leaders at the executive level is not only the only ingredient necessary for changing company cultures overall. The vocal and steadfast support of allies from other groups is essential — and, unfortunately, often still lacking. One SEO consultant, a 49-year-old woman who is biracial Latina and white, put it quite succinctly: “I see a lot of women in the SEO industry speaking out about the lack of diversity and inclusion, but very few men in the industry. Whenever one of these conversations gets going on Twitter, most of the men in SEO whom I follow suddenly get very quiet. The industry is only going to change when men also start taking action and speaking out about how the industry treats everyone other than men. Silence is complicity.” 5. Speaking up: see something, say something Many people witness incidents of bias but struggle with how to respond. Especially if a company has not formalized a set of procedures for addressing such conflicts, employees are left to figure it out on their own. As we know, there is no standardized societal guidebook for how to deal with discriminatory situations, especially in the U.S., where attitudes can be polarized and discussions difficult to initiate or sustain. Consequently, people chose a variety of responses to these situations, as evidenced by these findings: As part of our survey, we asked participants whether they’d witnessed discrimination or bias against someone in their workplace during the past year based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. In all, 43.2% replied that they had, so we asked these participants to go further by telling us what they did in response. Of that group, more than 4 in 10 (42.9%) took no action because they didn’t feel comfortable getting involved. This was true even though the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has declared that workers “have a right to work free of discrimination” based on “race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older) or genetic information.” One reason may be fear of retaliation, which the EEOC found was the most common issue cited by federal employees in discrimination cases. The same is likely true in the private sector. Respondents may fear the outcome if their employer fails to act on their report, and/or the accused discovers the source of the complaint. In light of this, it was encouraging to find in our survey that 41.2% of witnesses to workplace discrimination told their supervisor. (Another option, reporting the conduct to Human Resources, was not included as a choice among our survey answers). The most common answer: 56.3% confided in a colleague. This might indicate that these respondents weren’t comfortable going to an in-house supervisor, but also that they felt distressed enough about the situation that they wanted to tell someone. Among other responses, slightly more than one-third (33.6%) spoke out in the moment, while others addressed the situation later, either with the target of the discrimination (37.8%) or the perpetrator (21%). In the accompanying comments, several reported following up later with both the target and the perpetrator. 6. Mentoring someone from a different background SEO is a peculiar field in that there isn’t a well-defined path into the industry. The majority of SEOs are self-taught or learn on the job, figuring things out as they go. Or they have a mentor. One in three SEOs surveyed (33.1%) said mentors were their most significant source of SEO knowledge early in their careers. Our survey asked four questions that went to the question of diversity among mentors. The first two asked whether respondents had worked with a mentor 1) of their own gender and/or 2) of the same race/ethnicity as theirs. The results were interesting. While only 41.9% reported working with a mentor of their own gender, more than two-thirds (69.5%) said they’d worked with one of the same race/ethnicity. This would seem to indicate more diverse interaction among genders than exists between people of different races and ethnicities. The next two questions asked whether respondents had worked with a BIPOC mentor and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In terms of diversity, the results of the first question were disappointing, while answers to the second were encouraging. A total of 10.8% said they’d worked with a BIPOC member, but that was far short of the U.S. population for that category, according to the U.S. Census. Black Americans alone accounted for 13.4% of the U.S. population in 2019, according to Census Bureau estimates, with Hispanic/Latino individuals checking in at 18.5%. By contrast, 10.4% of respondents in our survey said they’d worked with a mentor from the LGBTQ+ community. That’s nearly double the percentage of LGBTQ individuals in tech-heavy California during 2019, according to the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, which placed the figure at 5.3%. Methodology These insights were the result of a month-long survey of 326 SEO professionals conducted by North Star Inbound from August 24 to September 28, 2020. We promoted the survey on Twitter, our own blog, and by email. We’re grateful to Moz and Search Engine Land for also sharing the link. In terms of gender, the SEOs described themselves as follows: 203 identify as women109 identify as men1 is a trans woman2 are trans men11 are nonbinary, genderqueer, two-spirit, or gender nonconformist3 preferred not to say With regard to sexual orientation: 72.8% said they were heterosexual11.5% said they were bisexual4.1% said they were pansexual3.9% said they were gay3.3% said they were lesbian1.1% said they were asexual1.9% preferred not to say The SEOs described their race or ethnicity as follows: (Participants were able to check more than one box) 231 White32 Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish28 Black or African American18 Asian or Asian American8 Indian/South Asian11 Middle Eastern/North African/Arabian peninsula4 Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander3 American Indian or Alaska Native The SEOs who completed the survey came from the following countries: 218 from the U.S.35 from the U.K.11 from Canada9 from Germany8 from Taiwan6 from Spain2 each from Australia, Brazil, France, India, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Romania, and Switzerland1 each from Argentina, Austria, China, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Peru, Portugal, and Turkey The survey respondents’ average number of years in SEO was 6.9. The median number of years was 5. The average age was 34.5, and the median age was 32.Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!
The fact that women are paid less than male colleagues is a stubborn fact in the U.S. workplace. As of July, women earned 84 cents for every dollar a man earned. It is a discrepancy that has garnered significant attention from scholars, the media and sex discrimination lawsuits. But this figure only tells part of the story regarding gender pay inequality. As a professor of business management, I have long studied compensation and inequality and know that base pay is only one way that women are disadvantaged in the workplace. Recent research by myself and colleagues shines a light on how… This story continues at The Next Web
Muslim NHS workers have told HuffPost UK how Islamophobia is rife in the organisation, with their own colleagues making disgraceful comments and denying them opportunities to progress or even socialise.We teamed up with the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) for a flagship, in-depth survey of more than 100 Muslim health workers – one of the most significant of its kind.A shocking 81% revealed they had experienced Islamophobia or racism within the NHS, 69% felt it had got worse during their time at the organisation and more than half – 57% – felt Islamophobia had held them back in their career progression within the NHS.Many Muslims voiced a culture of “swallow it up” in the NHS, leaving people fearful of reporting Islamophobia in case of repercussions for their job or career progression.One Muslim female consultant said she felt that “you may as well flush your medical degree down the toilet” rather than reporting Islamophobia from a colleague or manager. She described the NHS as a “family which will close ranks to protect their own against those perceived as outsiders”.Being “visibly Muslim”, such as wearing a hijab or having a long beard, made it more likely for Muslim NHS workers to face Islamophobia. One woman said she stopped wearing the hijab as it was “like wearing a sign saying ‘kick me’.”Meanwhile, alcohol – forbidden in Islam – has been described as a “social glue” in the NHS, with many Muslims believing they have missed out on career and bonding opportunities because socialising outside work revolves around drink.And while there are many incidents of outright bullying and harassment, it is the subtle, more difficult to prove Islamophobia within the NHS that is the “most dangerous discrimination”, say Muslim healthcare workers.A staggering 43% admitted they had considered leaving the NHS because of Islamophobia.Our survey conducted in conjunction with BIMA had 133 respondents from all over the country working in various NHS roles including consultants, surgeons, GPs, pharmacists and medical students.One Muslim NHS worker said: “I think Islamophobia has increased in society at large and this is reflected in the NHS.”Dr Salman Waqar, general secretary at BIMA, told HuffPost UK: “It reflects a wider societal unease about religion and the way spirituality and belief is seen as a problem.“Some Muslims will not make a fuss because of fear of retribution. But making small compromises causes turbulence and unease internally.“This creates a sense of not belonging for Muslims in the NHS and biological weathering. They feel they have to put on their uniform, turn up for work and justify their existence to colleagues.”Dr Hina J Shahid, chair of the Muslim Doctors Association, said: “We see people celebrating diversity in all its forms in the NHS – but people generally don’t want to talk about religion. It is like a taboo subject.“Belonging to a religious group is almost seen as going against the scientific nature of being a doctor.”Hijabs“In the NHS, you realise there’s something about the hijab that really riles people,” says Kiran Rahim, a paediatric registrar in London. “People make assumptions about you. When people first see me, they presume I don’t speak English, or I have an accent.”She says judgements are made about women in hijabs and she is asked questions by colleagues like: “Does your husband make you wear that?” and “Do you wear your hijab when you shower?”“I would expect people I work with to be more clued up. I am as British as they come, but my religion is part of my identity.”Muslim women told HuffPost UK they were often perceived to be less educated due to wearing headscarves, and received backhanded compliments such as surprise at how well they spoke English – even when they were born and raised in the UK.Zineb Mehbali, 32, a registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology, believes a culture exists within the NHS where people are discriminated against for being different. She wears a hijab and experienced overt Islamophobia at one hospital when her locker was vandalised and had the word “hijab” scrawled across it. “I’m quite resilient, but there have been situations where I’ve cried at work,” she said. “When my locker was vandalised for being Muslim, it made me feel vulnerable but also very hurt as I knew a colleague had done that.”Many Muslim women told HuffPost Islamophobic attitudes to the hijab are hidden behind infection control. Even when they’ve been given permission to wear hijabs in theatre and wash them at the same temperatures as theatre caps, they are persistently challenged.Mehbali was once shouted at by a member of operating staff who described her as “a hazard to patient safety”. “She was really aggressive and intimidating and made me feel incredibly humiliated.” On another occasion, Mehbali was working on a labour ward wearing a clean hijab and scrubs when it emerged a CQC inspection was going to take place. A boss told her they would have to hide her away. “It made me feel like a blot on the landscape and was completely unacceptable.”Zineb admits her job in the NHS would be a lot easier if she didn’t wear a headscarf. “I feel I’ve had to work a lot harder, especially as I’ve moved up the ranks.“When you become a registrar or consultant, I feel it’s harder if you wear a headscarf. People have to take notice of you as their colleague.”Ramsha Hanif, 27, a pharmacist in Derbyshire, doesn’t ordinarily wear a headscarf but was shaken by a former manager’s reaction when he saw a photo of her wearing one.“He really stared at my driving licence photo then told me I looked scary,” Hanif said.“I thought he meant I had a stern expression. But after a while, he said: ‘It’s that thing,’ and told me the headscarf made me look scary.“I was shocked as no one had ever said anything like that before.”The manager then asked Hanif about the application she was filling in, asking: “It’s not to join ISIS is it?”Ramsha reported the issue. The manager began calling in sick, then officially retired, so no action was taken.Ramsha said: “What hurt most was his whole opinion of me changed from seeing one picture of me wearing a headscarf.”A female A&E doctor told HuffPost UK she wore a hijab for many years. She said that, while non-practising Muslims who went out drinking were seen as “one of the gang”, those considered “too orthodox or religious” were viewed as a problem.At one hospital, a Hindu colleague warned her consultants and registrars were saying Islamophobic things behind her back. But he was unwilling to go on record for fear of repercussions. “It was not about being brown – it was Islamophobic,” she said. I’ve gone as far as saying I’m agnostic and am from the Indian subcontinent. If I reveal my identity as Muslim or Pakistani, I know I’ll be treated differently.The A&E doctor revealed she has become less open about her faith throughout her career and no longer wears a hijab or tells people she is Muslim. “I’ve gone as far as saying I’m agnostic and am from the Indian subcontinent,” she admitted. “If I reveal my identity as Muslim or Pakistani, I know I’ll be treated differently.“There are Islamophobes within the NHS who are intelligent enough to hide their hatred of Muslims under other guises such as picking on a doctor’s professionalism.“As a Muslim, you have to work twice as hard and never make any mistakes as you know they’ll be magnified.” People now openly make Islamophobic remarks in front of her, not realising she is a Muslim. “It’s really opened my eyes to the horrifying Islamophobia that exists in the NHS,” she said.But she added: “Wearing a hijab in the NHS was like wearing a sign saying ‘kick me’,” she said. “I just don’t have room in my life for that kind of stress.”Sabeeta Farooqi, 36, a trainee GP in Leeds, who is from Pakistan, recalls a sign on a board while she was taking a medical exam allowing her to practice in this country that read: “If you wear a face covering, it’s very unlikely any NHS employer will give you a job.”Khadija, 21, a medical student in Bristol, was told by her mentor, a Muslim GP, that if she wanted to get far in medicine, she really needed to remove her hijab. “I was shocked,” said Khadija. “She was trying to warn me of the difficulties that lay ahead. But I didn’t want to feel forced to choose between my religious and cultural identity and my career aspirations.“I’m not going to stop wearing the hijab because other people have a problem with it. That’s their issue, not mine.”Even at this early stage of her medical career, Khadija has witnessed the impact Islamophobia has. “Unfortunately, I know a couple of medical students who have been badly affected by Islamophobia,” she said. “One has left the course and completely foregone a career in medicine. The other has removed the hijab, stopped practising her religion and lost contact with her family.”I’m not going to stop wearing the hijab because other people have a problem with it. That’s their issue, not mine.Khadija, a medical student in BristolShahid has been researching the effects of Islamophobia on Muslim doctors and says women are at greater risk of discrimination.“If Muslim women wear a headscarf, they stand out as being different and are more likely to feel discriminated,” she said.“Many have reported feeling stressed, anxious and depressed. This affects their future choices. If they have a negative experience in a hospital setting, they’re more likely to choose a non-hospital setting or even leave the NHS.” ‘Just banter’ – terrorists, bombs and baconSometimes Islamophobia in the NHS is subtle and discreet and hidden under the guise of “banter”, many Muslims told HuffPost UK.When Mahdiyah Bandali, now a graduate paramedic in Birmingham, first began working for the ambulance service, she noticed the lack of diversity and realised she was the only hijab-wearing woman. “The first time I walked into an ambulance station, there was an attitude of: ‘What are you doing here?’ – I stuck out like a sore thumb.”Colleagues would ask: “Why do you wear that?”, “Do men control your life?” or even: “Will you get married off after you graduate and not work?”During Ramadan at one ambulance placement, Mahdiyah recalls colleagues eating bacon sandwiches in front of her while taunting her: “Are we breaking your fast?” or urging: “Go on, eat a piece of bacon.”Madiyah would be greeted jokingly when entering an ambulance station with: “Here she comes! What kind of bomb have you got for us today?”She said: “While I laugh it off, I can see how other people might find it offensive or how it could lead to them leaving the NHS. At the end of the day, it’s a type of bullying.”One hospital doctor told how he was carrying a lot of bleepers when a colleague said: “You look like a suicide bomber.”Many Muslims say a lot of Islamophobia goes under the radar. “It wouldn’t be admissible in a tribunal as it’s subtle undermining which happens on a daily basis,” said one doctor. “There is plenty of racism affecting people from all BAME backgrounds, but there is a specific anti-Muslim agenda among some NHS colleagues.”One hospital doctor told how he was carrying a lot of bleepers when a colleague said: “You look like a suicide bomber.”Many Muslims in the NHS keep quiet when it comes to reporting Islamophobia, for fear of repercussions or impacting career progression. Paediatric registrar Kiran Rahim said: “Medicine is very hierarchical and the people you complain to may also be the ones responsible for your progress. So many Muslims keep the peace and don’t feel empowered to pursue discrimination further.”One worker said in the survey: “The NHS pays lip service to diversity and racism but in reality has no interest in addressing these problems genuinely and just wants to appear to be doing the right thing.”Prayers “Praying for a practising Muslim is like food and water,” says Emma Wiley, a microbiology consultant in London. “It is a necessity, something they need to do.”But many Muslims face barriers to praying at work in the NHS. Emma, 38, was told she couldn’t pray in an empty office and had to use the main prayer room.“When you’re a busy medic, time is very poor. Walking to another place takes time,” she said. “Not allowing me to use this empty room for five minutes to pray seemed unnecessarily obstructive.” On another occasion, Emma was praying in a cloakroom when a laboratory scientist “with his face full of rage” told her to find an alternative place to pray.One Muslim NHS worker revealed he wasn’t allowed to go to the prayer room at his hospital as it would “take too much time to walk there”. He also wasn’t allowed time off during Ramadan or allowed to operate while fasting.Another doctor described how he was constantly bleeped during prayer time and asked: “Doesn’t your God know you have jobs to do?”Medical student Usman, 25, who lives in Glasgow, told HuffPost UK he was given permission to be regularly late to class to attend Friday prayers – yet would be hauled up and asked why he was late almost every week.“I feel a lot of it stems from a lack of understanding,” he said. “Many people in the NHS – particularly consultants who supervise students – believe medicine comes first and everything else second.“They cannot understand why anyone would put their religion before their medical classes.”Alcohol and career progressionClimbing the ladder in the NHS often occurs through social cohesion, which involves drinking in pubs, several respondents said. One explained: “Alcohol is a social lubricant and many Muslims are left out of career progression as we avoid places associated with the sale and consumption of alcohol.”A female Muslim doctor said she was bullied mercilessly by two other doctors after she declined to sit at a table where alcohol was served. “They began picking on me. Their biggest issue was the fact I didn’t drink.“It was horrendous. They refused to teach me, and spread rumours about me. One told me I wasn’t cut out to be a doctor and to give up.“They were very devious and made me feel it was all in my head. It was like gaslighting.”A Muslim doctor in emergency medicine heard a fellow trainee frequently bragging about opportunities he’d gained while drinking in the pub with a consultant.Waqar from BIMA said: “Alcohol is a huge part of British culture, but for the majority of Muslims it’s not permissible. When it comes to career progression, that can be difficult.“A lot of career progression and mentoring in the NHS takes place outside the work environment. Awards events often happen in places where alcohol is served.“If you’re a person who feels uncomfortable being at a table with alcohol, you’ll feel conflicted. Some might not go, so miss out.”It’s not just alcohol that leads to Muslims in the NHS missing out on progression. Mehbali says, when she was training, she wasn’t given the same opportunities as white colleagues.“There were times at training opportunities when white people more junior than me were allowed to operate and I wasn’t.“Even though I was competent and knew how to do the procedure, I wasn’t allowed to do the things my peers were doing. “I spent eight months with a particular consultant before I was allowed to operate, while others were allowed to straight away. I feel it was because I am visibly Muslim with a hijab.“It’s very disheartening to feel sidelined. When you’re learning practical skills, you need training opportunities or you’ll fall behind.”One male Muslim doctor said: “The career progression of Muslims in the NHS is far more stunted than their white counterparts. The hurdles are more difficult and challenging.”Why is there Islamophobia in the NHS?The stark lack of Muslims in leadership roles within the NHS has been cited as one of the reasons behind Islamophobia affecting the organisation.“Even if you get some who are Muslim or BAME, they’ve often had to neglect the cultural and religious aspects of their identity to get to their position,” says medical student Khadija, who also believes negativeportrayals of Muslims in society and media exacerbate Islamophobia. “Until the management within the NHS is reflective of its workforces, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to root out and address Islamophobia,” said one Muslim hospital registrar.“I would argue the reason there’s so much Islamophobia in the NHS is because Muslims are repressed from leadership roles and find it more difficult to climb the ladder.“So it becomes a vicious circle – they can’t support juniors facing the same issues.”But he added: “There are some very supportive and open minded line managers. It’s not a problem with everyone.”YingFei Heliot, a lecturer in organisational behaviour at Surrey Business School, published a report on religious identity and working in the NHS. She found Muslims faced the worst discrimination of any group.“Everyone recognises Islamophobia exists, but they don’t want to talk about it because it’s so sensitive,” she said.Dr Tarek Younis, researcher and psychologist at Middlesex University, researches Islamophobia. His latest publication is on the issue within the NHS.“When people think about Islamophobia, they focus on hate crimes,” he said. “But by doing this, they miss the wood for the trees.“We neglect how certain policies and political rhetoric formulates the bedrock of how racial discrimination takes place.”He says it’s important to realise NHS professionals are just people – and as such can hold prejudices. “The Brexit campaign succeeded on a lot of radicalised logic. A lot of middle-class and healthcare workers voted for it.“We know the healthcare setting is not a place where people just drop all their prejudices when they enter, be that patients or healthcare staff.“What is important is to recognise what’s not being done about it.”We know the healthcare setting is not a place where people just drop all their prejudices when they enter, be that patients or healthcare staff.Dr Tarek Younis, researcher and psychologist at Middlesex UniversityMore crucial, says Waqar, is ensuring the board understands the importance of an organisation where people can “bring their whole selves to work”.“This is a systemic issue and there’s no simple fix.” she said. “The solution isn’t just putting staff members on a course. It will take years to see a cultural shift.“Sometimes, Islamophobia stems from ignorance and doesn’t come from a bad place. But there are more serious incidents which come from a pernicious place as people within the NHS are believing the anti-Muslim narrative.”Dr Habib Naqvi from NHS England said: “While this survey represents only a snapshot of the 40,000 Muslim colleagues who work in the NHS, it is unacceptable for anyone to be unsafe or to be treated unfairly, either because of their religious belief or any other protected characteristic.“The NHS belongs to us all, and as part of the NHS People Plan, NHS employers are committed to increasing Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation across their leadership teams.”Tomorrow on HuffPost UK: How Muslim medics face Islamophobia from their own patients.Related... 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The gender pay gap is still huge. These charts illustrate the discrepancies based on race, age, location, and more.
Lifestyle Blogs | Fitness Blog | Business Blogs | Mental HealthThe Coffee Brunch is a destination for improve your good knowledge about mental health, business, lifestyle, women's fashion travel and wellness.A key reason, experts say, is unconscious bias that causes people to react differently to male and female leaders — for instance, among both men and women, male ambition is generally lauded, while female ambition often provokes hostility.While research shows men more often are top-down, “command-and-control” leaders, women tend to have a more democratic, participative leadership style that experts consider more effective, particularly as collaboration and innovation become more important to competitiveness.So what are the most important leadership traits women need to be successful in a male-dominated business world?Yet, many leadership opportunities are withheld from half of the workforce.We are talking, of course, about women in leadership.Diversifying a variety of top positions, specifically executive roles, is more than a movement to level the corporate playing field -- it's about using the best resources to maximize every organization's potential.Here are just five reasons why promoting and supporting female leaders should be a top priority for all organizations.Having Women in Leadership Will Help Close the Pay GapThe gender pay gap is a maddening phenomenon that has persisted despite decades of progress in the workplace.In reality, there isn’t just a gender pay gap—there’s a gender opportunity gap.Any specific efforts to recruit women to leadership roles in corporate settings are useless if companies don't encourage a work culture where they can succeed.Some initial steps to creating this culture are to focus mainly on education and experience in the hiring process, offer salaries based on the market rate rather than salary history, and start rewarding outcomes achieved instead of hours worked.
At a hearing of the Ninth Circuit appeals court in Portland, Oregon, this week, the lawyer representing the women argued that the judge made a legal error in his decision by insisting it be considered at the manager level rather than at the very top of the management tree where the decisions were signed off.Take it easy, man, it's all karmaIt didn’t help that at the same time that female staffers were getting frustrated about pay gaps, in 2014, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told a room full of women at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing that women shouldn’t ask for a raise but instead rely on “karma.”"It's not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise," Nadella said, later adding that staying silent on a pay gap would be a "superpower" for women.In the course of the legal process, that system was shown to be widely varied and inconsistently applied – which you might think would act in the women’s favor, especially given that the evaluation committees that made the decisions were overwhelmingly staffed by men, but under the law it had the opposite effect.The main US legal precedent in this area – when it comes to allowing a class-action lawsuit over gender pay discrimination – stems from a Supreme Court decision in 2011 which overturned the class certification of 1.5 million female Walmart employees, called Wal-Mart v. Dukes.
Affordability and lack of digital skills are the stumbling blocks for the widening digital gender gap globally despite the growth in usage of internet.According to a new data released by International Telecommunication Union’s Measuring digital development series, about 52% of the global female population is still not using the internet, compared to 42% of all men, except the Americas, which has near-parity.The data show that while the digital gender gap has been shrinking in the Commonwealth of the Independent States and Europe, it is growing in Africa, the Arab States and the Asia-Pacific region.It is widest in developing countries, especially least developed countries.However, an estimated 3.6 billion people remain offline, with the majority of the unconnected living in the least developed countries where an average of just two out of every ten people is online.Multi-stakeholder collaboration will be key
It’s better to have headline figures than none at all but they aren’t the full picture, Young Women’s Trust CEO Sophie Walker writes.HuffPost is part of Verizon Media.Verizon Media and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.Verizon Media will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.Select 'OK' to continue and allow Verizon Media and our partners to use your data, or select 'Manage options' to view your choices.
Bias is most intense in fields that are predominantly male, where women lack a critical mass of representation and are often viewed as tokens or outsiders.For the past several decades, efforts to improve the representation of women in STEM fields have focused on countering these stereotypes with educational reforms and individual programs that can increase the number of girls entering and staying in what’s been called the STEM pipeline – the path from K-12 to college to postgraduate training.In addition to issues related to the gender pay gap, the structure of academic science often makes it difficult for women to get ahead in the workplace and to balance work and life commitments.The strictures of the tenure-track process can make maintaining work-life balance, responding to family obligations and having children or taking family leave difficult, if not impossible.Women often are excluded from networking opportunities and social events, left to feel they’re outside the culture of the lab, the academic department and the field.With fewer female colleagues, women are less likely to build relationships with female collaborators and support and advice networks.
A gender-based wage gap is persistently setting women and people of color back in the technology industry.While diversity and inclusion have made revolutionary strides for white women, the picture is still dismal for women of color — for every dollar a man makes, a black woman makes 61 cents, while a white woman makes 81 cents.Pay transparency has been lauded for its potential to solve the pay gap, and in the past few years we’ve seen a handful of corporate companies releasing their salary data — such as Buffer, the social media scheduling tool, and the BBC.Joining the transparency ranks is Intel, which yesterday pledged to voluntarily release its employee pay data to the public, broken down by race and gender, later this year.As reported by Bloomberg, companies with more than 100 employees will now be required to report their employee pay data — broken down by race and gender — to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).The EEOC will keep these records private, unless a company voluntarily chooses to release them.
Intel has said it'll publicly release employee pay data broken down by race and gender, as originally reported by Bloomberg on Thursday.The promised disclosure follows a week of turmoil at Intel, after the company agreed to pay $5 million to settle employee accusations of pay discrimination based on race and gender.The settlement followed Intel's claims earlier in the year that it had closed its pay gap.This year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will for the first time require the same kind of pay data from all companies with more than 100 employees, though companies will not be required to publicly disclose that data.Previously, as Bloomberg reported, the EEOC required race and gender data, but not pay data."Although much progress has been made in the past 50 years, pay disparities continue to be a problem in the American workplace," the EEOC said in a post, explaining that the data will "encompass more than 63 million workers and will strengthen enforcement efforts of pay equality laws and help employers evaluate their own practices."
Intel will voluntarily publish detailed pay data with information on race and gender, the company told Bloomberg in an announcement today.This year, as Bloomberg reports, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will require companies with more than 100 employees to file the same data, but it won’t require businesses to release the information.Intel, however, said it would allow the public to examine the data.An Intel spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the proposal.The company didn’t say when the data would be released, and the commission may not require businesses to file the data after this year, as Bloomberg notes.The move sets Intel apart from other major tech companies, which have sometimes broadly released demographic statistics but haven’t released pay data in such detail.
ChallengeThe CEO of a large organization knew that Gender Pay Gap reporting and the changing workforce (X, Y etc) meant fair and transparent pay requirements were going to get more important. While there was full commitment to narrow the gap, improvements were still marginal because his team was spending a large proportion of their time analyzing and tracking data that was historic. The CEO was worried they were not identifying real pockets where change was needed and not spending adequate time implementing the necessary actions.SolutionThe Hub identified an AI-based solution that could integrate continuous pay audits and use machine learning to create fair pay in an ongoing manner. Analytics were available on a real-time basis which helped HR business partners be targeted around support and demonstrate success at lower costs. The CEO found the pilot to be very effective and decided to implement the solution across the entire organization.
When the U.S. women’s national soccer team raised awareness of the gender pay gap in professional sports earlier this year, they were following in the footsteps of another pioneering athlete who’s featured in a new campaign timed for Women’s Equality Day.Coinciding with the start of the 2019 U.S. Open, Mcgarrybowen Chicago is launching a campaign for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to highlight inequality in the sporting world, as well as tennis’ role as a pioneer in championing female athletes.“As a leader in women’s equality and one of the biggest sporting events in the world, we felt the U.S. Open could provide a powerful platform to bring attention to and help address the inequalities that still exist in the world today, like the unequal media coverage of men’s and women’s sports,” USTA managing director of marketing Nicole Kankam said in a statement.A pair of ads are narrated by International Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King, longtime gender-equality activist, winner of 39 Grand Slams and victor in the 1973 Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs, which was dramatized in a 2017 film starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell.“The fight for women’s equality, in many respects, has only just begun,” King says at the opening of the 90-second anthem ad.She argues that one way to champion women’s equality is through the power of sport.
NDAs have no place in modern society.There can never be a real assessment of the gender pay gap while the fog of corporate secrecy continues to hide the truth, journalist Harriet Marsden writes.HuffPost is part of Oath.Oath and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.Oath will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products.Select 'OK' to continue and allow Oath and our partners to use your data, or select 'Manage options' to view your choices.
The gender gap in computer science research won’t reach equality for more than a century, according to new research released on Friday that showed computer science isn’t just lagging behind, it’s also going in the wrong direction.An analysis of 2.87 million computer science research papers between 1970 and 2018 shows that “under our most optimistic projection models, gender parity is forecast to be reached by 2100, and significantly later under more realistic assumptions,” researchers wrote.“In contrast, parity is projected to be reached within two to three decades in the biomedical literature.Finally, our analysis of collaboration trends in computer science reveals decreasing rates of collaboration between authors of different genders.”The researchers laid out exactly how long of a timeline we’re looking at:The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle)