So, Deloitte pays its ethnic minority staff in the UK 34% less than its white staff. Who knew? Everyone like me: an ethnic minority who works in finance.
Banks are making a big effort to be inclusive. Whenever I do my yearly compliance exams, I’m bombarded by videos and photos featuring people of different races, different genders, and with disabilities. Banks are trying: they want to do the right thing. But if you work for a big bank with a mostly white management board, you realize your difference at bonus time.
I’m white, but I’m an immigrant. My name is unusual: people can’t spell or pronounce my name. I’m sure it works against me. Even so, I’m better off than those at the bottom of the pile: the people on sponsored visas from developing nations who are wholly reliant on the bank’s goodwill to remain in employment. No one ever talks about bonuses, but everyone knows that these guys are at the bottom of the pile: they need to stay on the right side of their manager, and the manager has no need to reward them when there are other people who are white non-immigrants shouting louder. It’s like they work for an individual rather than the bank.
Banks need to do an impartial study on pay by ethnicity. Everyone knows there’s an issue, but no one like me talks about it because we’re all afraid that complaints to HR will impede our progress or result in dismissal. Banks are continuously making staff redundant by saying roles are no longer needed and offering employees severance packages to go quietly. I know team that made three employees with Asian and African backgrounds redundant when a new manager was brought on. One surely wonders if this was racism or just that those people were genuinely no longer needed?
Karim Mikhail is the pseudonym of a salesman at a U.S. investment bank