PwC’s ethnicity pay gap reduced

PwC UK has for the first time published details of its Black, Asian and Mixed Ethnic (BAME) background pay gaps, as part of an action plan designed to address diversity in the workplace

The data on detailed ethnicity pay gaps shows for the whole firm, partners and staff, the median Black pay gap is 8.3%, the median Asian pay gap is 2.7%, and the median mixed ethnic background pay gap is 2.2%.

The disclosure, in the third instalment of the firm’s FY20 annual review, is in addition to the voluntary publication of the firm’s overall ethnicity pay gap for the past four years.

PwC UK’s overall median ethnicity pay gap including partners has decreased from 6.3% in FY19 to 3.5% in FY20. The median firmwide gender pay gap decreased from 14.7% in FY19 to 11.6% in FY20.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner, PwC UK, said: ‘It’s clear from this detailed data that we haven’t yet solved pay gaps but it does demonstrate our commitment to focusing on inclusion in the widest sense possible. We still have work to do to achieve better representation especially at the most senior levels of our business and that is our priority.’

The firm says the pay gaps are predominantly driven by lower representation of female and ethnic minority employees in the highest paid positions, and it has a targeted action plan to address this.

Of PwC’s partners, 10% are from an ethnic minority background while ethnic minorities make up 25% of PwC’s overall workforce, up by 2% from FY19.

Future plans include a focus on career sponsorship for high potential female and ethnic minority staff, the use of technology for fair work allocation, and senior level accountability through recognising partners who make a positive contribution to diversity targets.

An action plan focused specifically on ethnicity was also introduced in the summer of 2020 to build on existing policies. This includes a dedicated PwC fund set up to give Black-led social enterprises, as well as charities with ethnic minority beneficiaries, access to finance, mentoring, networks and skills.

Laura Hinton, PwC executive board member and chief people officer, said: ‘Being transparent with our diversity data is central to our goals of improving representation across our firm and nurturing an inclusive workplace culture for our people.’

The firm has set targets for gender and ethnic minority representation across all grades from associate to partner by 2025, including doubling the number of Black partners and the proportion of Black students hired by 2025.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) ran a three-month consultation, ending in January 2019, on ethnicity pay reporting by employers, but has yet to publish the outcome or its proposals.

In the meantime, research from PwC shows that an increasing number of UK employers are calculating their ethnicity pay gaps, up from 5% in 2018 to 23% in 2020, and that almost half of the businesses surveyed plan to disclose their ethnicity pay gap in the next three years.

PwC figures on ethnicity in the workplace

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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