Addressing the gender pay gap: employer methods

This report presents the findings of 14 interviews with employers in the private and public sector.

This document is part of a collection


1. Scottish Government (2018) ASHE 2018 Scotland Tables, available at

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is based on a 1% sample of HMRC PAYE records. It does not include self-employed workers or those affected by career absences. Official gender pay gap statistics also exclude overtime payments.

2. ONS (2018) Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2018. Office for National Statistics. Available at

3. SPICe (2018) The gender pay gap: facts and figures - 2018. The Scottish Parliament. Available at

4. Scottish Government (2018) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings - Scotland Analysis. OCEAES: Economic Statistics. Available at

5. SPICe (2018) The gender pay gap: facts and figures - 2018. SPICe Briefing. The Scottish Parliament. Available at

6. The Gender Pay Gap Action Plan can be accessed

7. The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 can be viewed at

More information about policy developments in relation to early learning and childcare provision are available at

For more information on the Scottish Government's efforts to increase the number of women in STEM, see

8. GEO (2019) Employers' Understanding of the Gender Pay Gap & Actions to Tackle it - Research Report on the 2018 Survey. Government Equalities Office. Available at

9. Ibid.

10. IPPR (2018) The Fair Pay Report: How Pay Transparency Can Help Tackle Inequalities - Women and the Economy. Institute for Public Policy Research. Available at

11. Close the Gap (2018) A Road to Change? An assessment of Scottish employer reporting of the UK gender pay gap regulations. Close the Gap Working Paper 19. Link to full report available at

12. See ref. 8.

13. The Analytical Annex can accessed, under 'Supporting Documents'.

14. GEO (2018) The gender pay gap in the UK: evidence from the UKHLS: Research Report. Government Equalities Office. Available at

15. For an overview of the distribution of men and women in occupations and sectors, see, regarding occupational distribution: (in the context of the UK generally) House of Commons Library (2019) Women and the Economy. Briefing Paper No. CBP06838.
Available at Regarding sector, see The Scottish Parliament (2017) The Gender Pay Gap: Facts and Figures - 2017. Available at

16. Gaucher, D., Friesen, J., & Kay, A. C. (2011, March 7). Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Available at

17. Personnel Today (2018) Asking candidates about current salary contributes to gender pay gap. Available at

18. ONS (2018) Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2018. Available at

19. IFS (2016) Gender wage gap grows year on year after childbirth as mothers in low-hours jobs see no wage progression. Institute for Fiscal Studies. Available at

20. See, for example: JRF (2016) How Flexible Hiring Could Improve Business Performance and Living Standards. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Family Friendly Working. Available at See also Timewise (2018) The Timewise Flexible Jobs Index Scotland, available at For research on the negative consequences for mothers requesting flexible working practices, see: EHRC (2016) Pregnancy and Maternity Related Discrimination and Disadvantage: experience of Mothers. Equality & Human Rights Commission and HM Government. Available at

21. GEO (2018) The gender pay gap in the UK: evidence from the UKHLS: Research Report. Government Equalities Office. Available at

22. For an excellent summary of the research here, see Blau, F. D., & Kahn, L. M. (2017). The gender wage gap: Extent, trends, and explanations. Journal of Economic Literature, 55(3), 789-865. Available at

23. See, for example, TUC (2016) Still just a bit of banter? Sexual harassment in the workplace in 2016. TUC. Available at

24. Investors in People (2018) Perceptions of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace 2018. Investors in People. Available at

25. HM Government and EHRC (2016) Pregnancy and Maternity-Related Discrimination and Disadvantage: Summary of key findings. Available at

26. GEO (2018) Reducing the gender pay gap and improving gender equality in organisations: Evidence-base actions for employers. Government Equalities Office. Available at

27. EHRC (2018) Unconscious Bias Training: An Assessment of the Evidence for Effectiveness. EHRC. Research report 113. Available at

28. For reviews of this literature, see: Close the Gap (2016) Gender Equality Pays: The Economic Case for Addressing Women's labour Market Inequality, Available; and Employment Research Institute (2001) The Relationship between Actions to Promote Gender Equality and Profit, available here; Kingsmill, D. (2001) A Review of Women's Employment and Pay. Available at

29. E.g., Credit Suisse (2012) Gender Diversity and Corporate Performance, Available at; Credit Suisse (2014) The CS Gender 3000: Women in Senior Management, Available at; PricewaterhouseCoopers (2015) Mining for Talent 2015: A Review of Women on Boards in the Mining Industry 2012-2014, available at

30. E.g., Badal, S. & Harter, J.K. (2014) 'Gender Diversity, Business-Unit Engagement, and Performance', Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 21(4), 354-365; Ellison, S.F. & Mullin, W.P. (2014) 'Diversity, Social Goods Provision, and Performance in the Firm', Journal of Economics & Management Strategy 23(2), 465-481.

31. E.g., Campbell, K. & Mínguez-Vera, A. (2008) 'Gender Diversity in the Boardroom and Firm Financial Performance', Journal of Business Ethics 83(3), 435-451; Isidro, H., & Sobral, M. (2015) 'The Effects of Women on Corporate Boards on Firm Value, Financial Performance, and Ethical and Social Compliance', Journal of Business Ethics 132, 1-19.

32. E.g., Nguyen, T., Locke, S. & Reddy, K. (2015) 'Does Boardroom Gender Diversity Matter? Evidence from a Transitional Economy', International Review of Economics & Finance 37, 184-120; Liu, Y., Wei, Z. & Xie, F. (2014) 'Do Women Directors Improve Firm Performance in China?' Journal of Corporate Finance 28, 169-184; Ntim, C.G. (2015) 'Board Diversity and Organizational Valuation: Unravelling the Effects of Ethnicity and Gender', Journal of Management & Governance 19(1), 167-195.

33. E.g., Ali, M., Kulik, C.T. & Metz, I. (2011) 'The Gender Diversity-Performance Relationship in Services and Manufacturing Organizations', International Journal of Human Resource Management 22(7), 1464-1485; Joecks, J., Pull, K. & Vetter, K. (2013) 'Gender Diversity in the Boardroom and Firm Performance: What Exactly Constitutes a 'Critical Mass?', Journal of Business Ethics 118(1), 61-72

34. E.g., Dwyer, S.O., Richard, C., and Chadwick, K. (2003) 'Gender Diversity in Management and Firm Performance: The Influence of Growth Orientation and Organisational Culture', Journal of Business Research 56, 1009-1019; Rodríguez-Domínguez, L., García-Sánchez, I. & Gallego-Álvarez, I. (2010) 'Explanatory Factors of the Relationship between Gender Diversity and Corporate Performance', European Journal of Law and Economics 33(3), 603-620.

35. ONS (2018) Gender pay gap by business size. Available at

36. House of Commons (2019) Gender pay gap reporting: Government Response to the Committee's Thirteenth Report: Sixteenth Special Report of Session 2017-18. Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee. Available at

37. Research from Women's Enterprise Scotland has estimated that women led 21% of SMEs. See

38. Scottish Government (2017) Women in enterprise: framework and action plan. Available at



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