What problems do women of colour face at work in the UK?
What are the barriers to career advancement for racial minorities in the UK?
What do minority groups have in common during pregnancy?
A shocking study shows that most women of colour in the UK face racism in the workplace.
The Experience of Women of Colour in the UK and Racism in the Workplace
Women of colour in the UK face racial discrimination in finding work and in the workplace. This study shows that women of colour are forced to change their behaviour and even change their name in some cases due to widespread structural racism in the workplace. A report shows that more than 60% of working women of colour are forced to change their language, hairstyle, clothing or diet.
Women of Colour Face Racial Insults
A major joint report by the Fawcett Society and the Runnymede Trust, which surveyed 2,000 black and Asian women and 1,000 white women across the UK, found that three-quarters of women of colour in the UK experienced some form of racism in the workplace. A quarter of these women also experienced racial harassment at work. The study also found that most women of colour felt they had to hide their identity in the workplace, and more than 60% changed their language, hairstyle, clothing or diet to fit in.
Barriers to Career Development for Racial Minorities
More than half of Muslim and Black African women said they had changed their style of clothing at work. A quarter of women of Indian descent said they had changed their name. The study also identified barriers to the career advancement of women of colour. According to the survey, more than half of women of colour reported discrimination in the application or interview process, and 42% said they had overcome barriers to career advancement.
Inadequate Physical Examination of Ethnic Minority Adolescents by Police
The British police carry out disproportionate physical inspections of children and adolescents of racial minorities in the country. The mother of a Black teenage girl from Hackney has said that her daughter’s inappropriate physical examination by the police was due to the racist stereotypes of police officers. As revealed in another case, the mother of a teenage girl of mixed race has stated that her daughter, who is autistic with learning difficulties, had attempted suicide after being strip-searched by the police. She also stressed that she was completely isolated and secretly self-harming, and that the incident had had devastating effects on her mental health. The teenage girl’s lawyer stressed that the police should act in accordance with the law when conducting physical searches of minors. The incident occurred in December 2020. Preliminary investigations revealed that the police’s inappropriate physical search of the teenage girl was motivated by racism. British police have claimed that an investigation is underway into the incident.
Racial Minorities Are More Likely to be Subjected to Physical Scrutiny
According to available data, more than 1,300 young people under the age of 18 have been physically abused in the UK since 2017. Other data show that two-thirds of children who have been sexually abused by British police in the past three years are from ethnic and racial minority groups.
Systematic Racism in Maternity Care
Asian, Black, and mixed race women face systematic racism during maternity care in the UK. According to the childbirth charity Birthrights, systematic racism in maternity care poses dangers to the safety of Blacks, Asians and mixed races, often with devastating consequences. The results of a study on racial injustice and clinical negligence focusing on overt inequality in childbirth and prenatal care show that black women in the UK are four times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than white women. At the same time, women of Asian descent and mixed races are twice as likely as white women to be exposed to these risks.
Common Experiences of British Racial Minorities During Pregnancy
The study also found that the most important common experience of Black, Asian, and mixed-race women during pregnancy and childbirth was insecurity, as they are not listened to and their concerns about pain are ignored. There is ample evidence that serious medical conditions in pregnant mothers or infants, such as jaundice, are not diagnosed because of the colour of their skin. The study also found that healthcare professionals refer to black women and their infants with racist terms or refer to Asian women in a derogatory language. Midwives also say that in the workplace they are confronted with a culture of blame for caring for ethnic minorities, and that the deaths of ethnic minority mothers are justified by reasons such as a weakened immune system.
Racial minorities in the UK also suffer a range of discriminations by the British police who treat racial minorities abusively, mistreating and arresting them more often. The UK government has not yet taken action to address this issue, and living conditions for racial minorities in the UK are becoming increasingly difficult due to the government’s recklessness.