Equality in the workplace is an extremely important topic that has received a lot of vocal attention within the last few years. It is now a legal requirement for organisations with more than 250 employers to report their gender pay data to the government. However, there is no such requirement for them to report on their ethnic pay data, and for the few companies that have carried out a survey, they found that their ethnic pay gap was larger than their gender pay gap.

It is suspected that only about 3% of large employers have so far voluntarily reported their ethnic pay gaps, and those who have found that its BAME (black, Asian and minority workers) employees were paid 21% less per hour than white employees. There are more FTSE 100 chiefs called Steve than there are ethnic-minority bosses. A similar lack of representation in leadership positions exists within public sector organisations.

Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees are losing out on £3.2bn a year in wages compared to white colleagues doing the same work, a recent study by Resolutions Foundation found. Ministers have been urged to press ahead with proposals to force large firms to report their ethnicity pay gap, after the research showed the extent of the salary disparity for Britain’s 1.9 million black, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and other minority workers.

The analysis took into account the differences in average qualification and job types and found that the gap rose to as much as 17%, or £3.90 an hour, for black male graduates’ pay.

The Resolution Foundation said its research showed that the ethnicity pay gap represented “a huge blow to the living standards of those affected”. It found Pakistani and Bangladeshi male graduates earned an average £2.67 an hour (12%) less, while among female graduates, black women faced the biggest pay penalty, of £1.62 an hour (9%).

The thinktank noted that while ethnic minority workers have long earned less overall, on average, than white male workers, its pay penalty calculation was controlled for factors such as occupation, contract type, industry and qualifications.