Asian business, rise in UK but discrimination still exists

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London, Oct 6 (UNI) Asian businesses are growing three times faster than their native counterparts in the UK, a government study suggests.

It also says that one in five new Asian enterprises are being set up by women.

However, a research published jointly this month by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Equal Opportunities Commission showed that around 80 per cent of Bangladeshi and 70 per cent of Pakistani women of working age are not in full-time education or work, compared with 25 per cent of all other ethnic groups.

The pay gap suffered by different groups of women compared with white British men illustrates the rift still more starkly -- Pakistani women earn over 28 per cent less per hour than men and Bangladeshi women 23 per cent less, while Indian women suffer a much smaller penalty of 11 per cent- less than the 17 per cent pay gap affecting white female workers.

Zohra Moosa, senior policy officer for race and gender at the Fawcett society, noted that a division exists among Asian women between those ''stellar women who rocket up the ladder'' - whether in business or in senior public sector jobs - and those still struggling to turn their aspirations and increasingly strong qualifications into employment opportunities.

Despite growing educational success and career aspirations among rising generations of Pakistani and Bangladeshi girls, employers do still discriminate, Ms Moosa argued.

''There are still stereotypes based probably on the first generation of immigrants that are holding them back. There are still ideas that women will just be around for a little bit, and then they will get married and be off,'' she was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

The new generation of high-flyers among Asian women in Britain includes many of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin as well as those of Indian descent, stresses a senior lecturer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University Lucinda Platt. But, while Asian girls from all backgrounds are forging ahead in education, including at degree level, that is not yet translating into labour market success for all groups.


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