Since Chwarae Teg was established, much progress has been made towards achieving gender equality in Wales. However, the picture of progress towards equality changes dramatically when we focus on the intersectional experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women living in Wales.
BAME women are increasingly marginalised; they are further away from the labour market, underrepresented in positions of power and influence, and are more likely to be living in poverty. While BAME women experience the well-documented gendered barriers to the workplace, such as access to childcare, they face additional racial inequalities and biases that make it increasingly difficult to access, enter and progress in work.
However, the experiences of BAME women are not homogenous; they vary significantly on the basis of ethnicity, nationality, age, religion and migration status as well as other factors of identity. Therefore a one-size fits all approach to addressing barriers faced by BAME women will not work. It is crucial that the voices and experiences of different BAME women are heard, and used to inform policy and practice at Government level, in business, in trade unions and in wider civil society. These institutions should be more diverse, with fair representation of BAME women to ensure they are able to serve everyone equally.
To date, the experiences of BAME women have largely been overlooked in research, particularly in a Welsh context, with a lack of disaggregated and regularly collected data making it difficult to measure progress. This research aims to begin to correct this gap in knowledge about the experiences of BAME women in the Welsh economy, and start a discussion based on their own recommendations for Wales.
With this research we set out policy recommendations for Government, Business, Trade Unions and other agencies in order to address some of the barriers that BAME women face to employment. We also aim to spark a wider conversation about the role of BAME women in the Welsh economy, to ensure that their voices are heard and that they are able to achieve their potential. Many of our findings and recommendations will be clearly felt and understood by BAME women themselves, but should be illuminating for others. We commit to using our position and influence for all women.