Ethnic minority poverty linked to informal processes as well as wider structures

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a review of evidence on how ethnicity and poverty interact. The review summarises the results of scoping work undertaken prior to the launch of the Foundation’s new research programme on ethnicity and poverty. PSI produced the report on the role of employer attitudes and behaviour. The work was led by Dr. Maria Hudson, working with Dr. Dragos Radu.

Their paper:

  • explores the evidence base on the role of employer attitudes and behaviour in ethnicity and poverty;
  • considers discrimination in labour markets, workplace cultures and opportunity structures, labour market flexibility and the effects of black and minority ethnic workers' actions;
  • presents key findings on what can be done to improve the current context;
  • reviews gaps in the evidence base, suggesting areas for future research.

The paper also discusses what can be done to improve employer attitudes and behaviour. This includes recognising the multiple identities of workers in employer equality practice as well as the promotion of improved working practices via:

  • measures to help tackle workplace discrimination, engaging with unsupportive workplace cultures;
  • the potential benefits of positive action;
  • the importance of leadership, accountability and monitoring and reviewing workplace practice;
  • tailoring employer support.

The paper also suggests areas for further research, including in-depth exploration of subtle discrimination and informal work processes, access to training and labour market progression and the impact of recession and austerity on black and minority ethnic working poor communities.

Read the paper:

Hudson, M. and Radu, D. (2011) The role of employer attitudes and behaviour. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

All of the JRF scoping papers can be found here.