Equality outcomes and mainstreaming: report 2021

Update on our progress incorporating equality across its activities, summary of equality outcomes 2017 to 2021, report on new outcomes 2021 to 2025, data set and mainstreaming information.


Significant advances continue to be made in promoting equality and tackling discrimination and disadvantage. However, we know that people still experience inequality on the basis of their protected characteristics[2] and that these inequalities are often long-standing and deep-rooted. Therefore, in making decisions that affect the lives of people in Scotland the Scottish Government has a duty under the law to eliminate discrimination, advance equality, and to foster good relations. Equality is thus an integral part of our business and the Public Sector Equality Duty set out in the Equality Act 2010 and the Scottish Specific Duties together provide a framework to help us deliver this effectively.

These duties are a key element in tackling inequality and in shaping decisions that will affect the lives of people in Scotland. This report provides an update on how the Scottish Government is working to improve the lives of people by mainstreaming equality across its full range of activities.

Structure of the Report

Part 1: Focuses on our strategic direction and processes and plans. Here we tell you about how:

  • We are creating the conditions to mainstream equality through consultation and collaboration with academics and with communities
  • We will seek to develop wider and more innovative means of participation and dialogue
  • Learning from COVID-19 impacts and responses will be used to mainstream and embed equality across the range of protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.
  • We are driving our commitment to equality forward through the creation of a new Directorate of Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights which will focus on using data and lived experience to improve outcomes, provide challenge where a policy is not working and will develop our approach to service design, ensuring our health, education, justice, housing and social security services work for the benefit of everyone in Scotland.
  • Equality is built into all that we do including: procurement, housing, social care budget setting, investment, and data improvement
  • Our plans and to tackle inequality across a range of areas, including fair work, race, older people, and disabled people are progressing

Part 2: is about the progress being made and work ongoing to embed and advance equality and diversity in relation to our people. This includes:

  • Our corporate activity as an employer
  • How we are placing people at the heart of our mainstreaming strategy, including our race recruitment and retention plan, and our recruitment and retention plan for disabled people
  • How our staff networks are shaping our strategic approach, complementing corporate activity
  • Key employee diversity data findings and how it is being used to improve our policies and practices.
  • Our equal pay statement and Pay Gap Information: Gender, Race and Disability

This report should be read in conjunction with the documents, published alongside, that set out the Scottish Government's progress against its equality outcomes for the period 2017 -2021. The 2021-2025 equality outcomes and the thinking and the consultation that has informed these outcomes. Also published with this report are documents that provide update on Mainstreaming Equality in Scottish Government Agencies and Employee Equality Data.


Email: bruce.sutherland@gov.scot

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