The desire for a just and fair society free from inequalities and disadvantage is strong in Scotland and characteristic of Scottish values. It is important therefore that we have a framework which provides the positive conditions for the advancement of equality of opportunity. The public sector equality duty and the Scottish specific duties which flow from it help to set that framework.
I am delighted to introduce the Scottish Government's Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report, set in the context of our National Performance Framework and our agenda of public service reform. As we move forward with our focus on outcomes, improved performance and prevention, being able to understand the diversity of experience of our communities and reflect that in our decision making will be crucial.
I believe strongly that individuals deserve to be treated fairly and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and that our economy will benefit if it can draw on the talents of all our people. We have worked with equality communities to help us to meet the requirements of the specific duties, building on long standing relationships and partnerships with equality organisations. Our work is richer and stronger as a result of that engagement.
We have drawn on evidence and engaged with communities to prepare the first ever set of equality outcomes for the Scottish Government. I am grateful to our equality communities and their organisations and to all those who contributed to the development of the equality outcomes through the sharing of evidence, the focus group events and continuous engagement. Our equality outcomes are the areas where we will report on progress over the next 4 years. They sit alongside our long term commitment to integrate equality into our day to day business and the raft of policies across Government which are delivering improvements for equality communities.
Fair employment and pay practices matter to the people of Scotland. I am pleased that we are publishing Scottish Government employee information in our mainstreaming report and using it to ensure fairness and opportunity in the workplace. Like many other public authorities we are also for the first time publishing our gender pay gap and information on equal pay and occupational segregation.
Our ambitions for economic success and social wellbeing in Scotland cannot be realised unless we address the prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage that hold people back. This message is clear in the Government Economic Strategy and our drive to make Scotland an attractive place to live, work and invest.
The specific duties help us to realise our ambitions. We will measure, review and report on the progress that we are making - and will continue to engage equality communities as part of this. Keeping our focus on equality over the coming years will enable Scotland to grow, flourish and become stronger.
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport
(with responsibility for Equalities)
Email: Graeme Bryce, Graeme.Bryce@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House