Pension savers expect ethnicity pay gap reporting and diverse business leaders

Laura Dunn-Sims

by , PR Manager

05 May 2021 /  

05
May 2021

diverse team touching hands

Leading pension provider, PensionBee, reveals most savers (57%) expect companies in their pension to publish ethnicity pay gaps. This is in stark contrast to the recent heavily criticised government-commissioned report on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which fails to recommend a statutory reporting obligation.

Lack of transparency around ethnicity pay gaps hides large disparities for certain groups, with those of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Black ethnicities suffering the most disadvantage, according to data from the London School of Economics (1).

Following the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting for large employers in 2017, there have been renewed calls for the government to make ethnicity pay gap reporting a necessity, including a 2020 petition with more than 130,000 signatures. Support for ethnicity pay gap reporting was particularly prominent amongst PensionBee’s female respondents at 72%.

Sharing their results from a recent customer survey, PensionBee also found 60% of savers expect the companies in their pensions to have diverse boards and senior management teams. Currently, there are zero black senior board executives in FTSE 100 companies (2). This is despite 76% of PensionBee’s female respondents and 53% of its male respondents expecting diversity within the companies in their pensions.

Additionally, most consumers (66%) expect companies to have a level of diversity in their workforce that is representative of UK society. Again, support was stronger amongst women at 80% compared to men at 60%.

One male survey respondent summarised his expectations as, “Fair and equal pay, no matter sex, race, colour or creed,” and another male respondent commented, “Discrimination is a huge deal-breaker for me.”

Earlier this month PensionBee announced that it had signed the Race At Work Charter, an initiative to promote equality in UK businesses (3). In addition to the FinTech for All Charter, an industry-led initiative to promote diversity within the FinTech sector (4).

Recent PensionBee data highlights its strong diversity with almost 40% of employees self-identifying their racial or ethnic background as Asian / Asian British; Black, African, Caribbean, or Black British; Mixed, multiple or other ethnic groups. This is on a par with the 40% representation found in London, where the company is based. There is diversity at all levels.

Romi Savova, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Sponsor for Race at PensionBee, commented: “Our research shows that consumers expect companies to address disparities in outcomes for people of different ethnicities. Ethnic diversity reporting is rapidly coming up the regulatory agenda to supplement gender reporting in companies with more than 250 employees. At PensionBee we have already started reporting our progress internally. It is on us to create workplaces where everyone can thrive. We must build the kind of companies that consumers want to invest in, and the world that our customers expect to live in.”

Appendix

Table 1: Customer views on ethnicity pay gap reporting

I expect companies in my pension to publish ethnicity pay gaps Overall Respondents (%) Male respondents (%) Female respondents (%)
Strongly agree 26% 20% 39%
Agree 31% 30% 33%
Neither agree nor disagree 31% 34% 23%
Disagree 7% 9% 4%
Strongly disagree 5% 7% 1%

Source: PensionBee, April 2021. customer survey, with 1,665 respondents. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 2: Customer views on diversity on boards and in senior management

I expect companies in my pension to have board/ senior management diversity Overall Respondents (%) Male respondents (%) Female respondents (%)
Strongly agree 28% 23% 39%
Agree 33% 31% 37%
Neither agree nor disagree 29% 33% 20%
Disagree 5% 7% 2%
Strongly disagree 5% 6% 2%

Source: PensionBee, April 2021. customer survey, with 1,665 respondents. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 3: Customer views on workforce diversity**

Companies should have diversity in their workforce that’s representative of UK society Overall Respondents (%) Male respondents (%) Female respondents (%)
Strongly agree 30% 25% 41%
Agree 36% 36% 38%
Neither agree nor disagree 24% 28% 16%
Disagree 5% 6% 2%
Strongly disagree 5% 6% 2%

Source: PensionBee, April 2021. customer survey, with 1,668 respondents. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 4: Racial or ethnic background

PensionBee Q4 2020 (%) London^ (%)
Asian or Asian British 9% 19%
Black, African, Caribbean, or Black British 13% 13%
Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups 13% 5%
White 54% 60%
Other ethnic groups 1% 3%
No response or Rather not say 11% 0%

Source: PensionBee, April 2021. Voluntary survey, with 127 respondents. “No response or Rather not say” includes employees that did not complete the survey. The total sample size of this analysis is 150. Numbers have been rounded. ^Data taken from the 2011 census.

Footnotes

  1. Financial Times
  2. Green Park
  3. PensionBee
  4. PensionBee

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