This report explains the different measures of the gender pay gap, breaking it down by age, sector and occupation and considers how it has been changing over time.
Whilst the pay gap can be explained in terms of factors like occupational segregation, differences in working patterns between men and women and indirect discrimination, this report explores underlying drivers, such as:
• inequality of unpaid care between men and women
• traditional social attitudes towards the role of men and women at home and the workplace
• some professions rewarding longer hours and unbroken work patterns (which are more suitable to people without caring responsibilities).
These underlying drivers are important in understanding why the pay gap still persists.
Analysis of international data shows that countries which have high measures of gender equality and female employment, do not necessarily have low pay gaps, due to persistence of the issues outlined above. This reflects the long term challenge of accelerating the decline of the pay gap.
The Scottish Government has a comprehensive range of policies intended to help encourage this decline and these are outlined in this report.