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Asian women lose out in UK workplace: study

Asian women face far more barriers in the workplace than white women.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2007 12:40 IST

British women of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afro-Caribbean origin face far more barriers in the workplace than white women, a report said on Thursday.

A study by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) found that such women, despite being well qualified, find it harder to obtain a job and win promotion and are more likely to be segregated into certain types of work.

The investigation, described as the biggest of its kind, found that Black and Asian women were absent from almost a third of workplaces, while they were under-represented in three out of five offices, shops and factories.

"Young Pakistani, Bangladeshi and black Caribbean women are ambitious and equipped for work, but they are still suffering even greater penalties at work than white women," EOC Chairwoman Jenny Watson said.

"Time after time women told us about the 'unwritten rules' in their workplace, hidden barriers that prevent them from realising these ambitions.

Without tackling these unwritten rules, change will never come," she said.

Watson said Black and Asian women would be helped for example by better career advice at school and into adulthood, "more work experience choices, and help with childcare costs for larger families."

"Government policy ... Needs to meet the needs of a new generation of ethnic minority women," she added.