Men who are disabled or from an ethnic minority are significantly more likely to have low-paid jobs traditionally associated with women, a new study has claimed.
The University of Exeter Business School analysed more than 125,000 cases of workers across the lowest pay grade in a very large FTSE company, focusing on the lowest-paid, low-skilled and often part-time positions.
The research revealed a number of facts:
• Men from ethnic minorities are 50 per cent more likely to work part-time and in the lowest pay grade than white males
• Men in the lowest pay grade are 66 per cent more likely to be from an ethnic minority while women in the same grade bracket are 32 per cent less likely to be from an ethnic minority
• Men in the lowest grade are three times more likely to have a disability than in the rest of the workforce, and disabled men are more likely to be found in the lowest income bracket than women
• White men are almost twice as likely to be promoted as men from ethnic minorities
• Non-disabled men are more than four times more likely to be promoted than disabled men
Lowest-grade jobs typically comprise roles such as clerical, secretarial and customer service.
Professor Carol Woodhams, from the University of Exeter, said: "It is an unpalatable yet accepted fact that the lowest-paid, lowest-status work in the UK is predominantly undertaken by women.
"However, this is the first time that academics have studied the types of men who undertake this work.
"Our data shows that men from disadvantaged groups are much more likely than women to end up in low-level work.
"We don't know why this is but one suggestion is that men with labour market 'disadvantages' are perceived to be less 'masculine' in some way.
"Another explanation could be that women already bear a huge, overriding disadvantage because of their gender alone, which means men may suffer disproportionately when they are disadvantaged in other respects."
The research is the first time that the impact of labour market disadvantages on men has been quantified.
Professor Woodhams added: "This same pattern can also be seen in relation to promotion out of low-level work. Employers really need to have a good look at their workforce and start addressing these inequalities."