Report launch: Triple Glazed Ceiling
They talk about a glass ceiling [for women]. I talk about [for BAME women] a double glazed, triple glazed, black glass ceiling which is even more difficult to break through.
BAME Women in Wales face critical barriers to achieving their potential in the economy, Chwarae Teg’s new report has revealed. They are increasingly marginalised; further from the labour market, under-represented in positions of power and more likely to be living in poverty.
Research we carried out found that experiences of bias, discrimination and racism, poor opportunities for training and support, and a lack of visible BAME role models create barriers which are difficult to break through.
BAME women experience many of the inequalities experienced by women as a whole – such as childcare and the gender pay gap – alongside racial inequalities and discrimination. These inequalities intersect and compound creating even more complex barriers that need targeted action and solutions.
This research is the first to explore BAME women’s experiences – taking into account gender and racial barriers – in a Welsh-specific context, and highlighting Welsh-specific problems. These include the inconsistent and varied availability of services and support for BAME women across Wales, difficulty finding suitable jobs and a skills drain which is pulling young BAME people away from Wales.
Throughout the research we were proud to work with organisations providing invaluable support to BAME women across Wales. These organisations made Calls to Action for how those in positions of power and influence can break down barriers for BAME women.
These Calls to Action place the onus on Government, Business and civil society to reach out to BAME women and communities, to ensure their voices are heard in decision-making and not leave it to individual women and organisations to make progress on their own.
“I think it’s a poor excuse to say that we don’t know how to engage with BAME communities… There are so many equality and diversity practitioners who want to engage with employers to do better.”
Due to the lack of representation of BAME women at the top of Business and Government in Wales, their voices are often forgotten in decision-making, placing them in a position of further discrimination and disadvantage in the Welsh economy. Our aim with this research is to amplify the voices of BAME women in Wales and the organisations that support them; they are the experts in their own experiences, and if we want to make Wales a truly equal place, we need to listen carefully and take action.
"What I heard loud and clear throughout the research was that a one-size fits all approach to achieving gender equality won’t work; women’s experiences are shaped by ethnicity, faith, age, nationality, migration status and so many other factors. We need to continue to educate ourselves on the experiences of BAME women, and all women to understand how we can break down the barriers that prevent them from achieving their potential. We hope this research can spark a wider conversation about the position of BAME women in Wales, and the role those in positions of power and privilege can play in creating equality.