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2020 ECPR Winter School in Methods & Techniques

Coping with Discrimination: Voices of BAME Women Working in the Care Sector

Nina Sahraoui
London Metropolitan University
Nina Sahraoui
London Metropolitan University

It is estimated that the care workforce needs to increase by 79% by 2032, yet care remains one of the lowest paid sectors. Highly gendered and racialized, the workforce in the care sector is symptomatic of labour market segmentation. Non-white workers account for at least 17% of care workers in the UK and two-thirds in London. This paper argues that this distinct division of labour, which puts workers at risk of marginalisation, is exacerbated by migration policies, processes of commodification of care and the privatisation of public services. Following a methodology that draws upon institutional ethnography, this paper explores ethnic minority women’s working lives and their experiences of discrimination. Finally, it looks into coping strategies for these women and the role of unions in supporting them and challenging racism. The analysis is based upon semi-structured interviews conducted with ethnic minority care workers and experts including trade union officers.
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