Living Wage City status benefits women and people of colour

Minority workers have been impacted the most and for the better, 10 years on from the foundation of a Living Wage campaign in Wales

The Living Wage allows more people to have money in their pockets

People were surviving rather than thriving before the increased wage, according to academic, Deborah Hann (Credit : Pexels)

Women and people of colour have directly benefitted from Cardiff’s status as a Living Wage City, according to academics.

Deborah Hann, pro-dean for Education and Students at Cardiff Business School, delivered the positive findings at a recent event in the city.

The research found that women formed a majority of those who saw increased wages from the scheme, in part due to their likelihood to work in part-time, poorly paid jobs.

People of colour were also found to be a significant minority of those who saw pay increases.

The talk was given during Living Wage Week during the 10-year anniversary of Citizens Cymru Wales launching their Living Wage campaign, and in celebration of more than 20 years of the wider movement.

Cardiff Business School estimates that in 2023 around 24,000 employees benefit across Wales from accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation, with some 15,000 members of the workforce benefitting in the capital city.

Cardiff reached the milestone of having 200 accredited employers who guarantee the improved wage to every member of their workforce this year.

“All of these people were in work, but the level of wages was not enough to actually allow them to live; they were surviving rather than thriving,” said Hann, when describing the start of the movement over two decades ago.

The wage is calculated by an independent body and reflects the amount that an individual would need to do more than just cover food and rent.

Hann says those on the Living Wage can do things they couldn’t before, like possibly go on holiday, or send their children on school trips. She emphasises that the amount calculated for the foundation is not the same as the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, as they do not provide significant financial autonomy.