As the EU moves ahead with its new pay transparency directive, EDGE Empower has raised its concerns that ethnic minority groups could be left behind in the workplace.

The EquiNations research published by EDGE Certified Foundation highlighting the DE&I legislative overview of select countries shows that France, Germany, Austria, and Belgium forbid the collection of personal data on race and ethnicity, while other countries allow it but found it difficult in practice.

And while the new directive aims to close the gender pay gap, another study shows that in the UK 42 per cent of black professionals said in the last year they had not received a pay increase after negotiation. This was double the number of white employees.

Additional research in the EU continues to highlight the structural racism in workplaces, including the unequal pay of ethnic minority employees, and the overrepresentation of ethnic minorities in what are deemed ‘less desirable’ jobs. For example, in Germany black workers earn almost 25 per cent less compared to the majority population.

An intersectional approach to understand how various criteria intersect in pay discrepancies must be adopted to ensure equity for everyone. Organisations must also go above and beyond pay or ethnicity transparency laws to create an equitable workplace for everyone.

Aniela Unguresan, founder of EDGE Certified Foundation, says that “while pay transparency makes the problem visible, it doesn’t solve the problem. Being transparent will not close the gap. You can’t have pay equity without balanced representation. You cannot close the pay gap without closing the gap in representation.’’

She continues to say that “the term pay equity is most used in relation to the gender pay gap. There are laws in many countries that require businesses to report publicly on their pay gap.

However, unfortunately this is often where their DE&I journey starts and stops. Organisational focus needs to shift from legal compliance to a commitment to diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces for all.”

For the full review of the 20 EDGE Certifying countries and their DE&I laws and legislations please visit

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