A fairer Scotland for women: gender pay gap action plan

Our action plan setting out a list of actions that will be taken to address the many drivers of the gender pay gap.

This document is part of a collection

Chapter 1 Leadership

Gender equality is both a fundamental human right and a key driver of inclusive economic growth. That is why the Scottish Government will show leadership in tackling the gender pay gap by looking more explicitly at all our polices, including future Programmes for Government, through a gendered lens to allow particular attention to be given to the implications of policies in terms of gender.

Our approach across our range of Labour Market Action Plans, our Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018-22[6] and Equally Safe Delivery Plan[7], which was co-authored with COSLA, is about not only supporting women outside the workplace but also enabling women to fully, safely and equally participate in employment.

In order to address wider issues around gender inequality in Scotland we have established a National Advisory Council on Women and Girls. The Council’s first report[8] published in January 2019 makes eleven key recommendations across a number of policies similar to those contained within this action plan. We are currently considering these will be publishing a full and considered response by spring 2019.

Local government also has a role to play in promoting gender equality, tackling inequalities and encouraging diversity amongst elected members and its workforce. COSLA’s President has asserted her and COSLA’s commitment to this agenda. 

Many of those in leadership roles in the public and private sector are men. Progress must involve their full commitment. Everyone in positions of influence should understand the causes of the gender pay gap and how their decisions can influence change. 

  • Start the process of work to ensure that our own policymakers, analysts and delivery bodies are sufficiently competent in their understanding of intersectional gender issues to design policy and services that advance women’s equality, particularly in relation to the labour market and economy. This will include our current contract with WiSE Research Centre for Economic Justice to carry out a project on improving the gender competence of analysts and policy-makers, being run initially on a pilot basis in the Finance, Economy and Fair Work portfolio. 
  • Support the Fair Work Convention’s role in supporting equality of opportunity and outcomes in the labour market and work with the Convention to promote understanding and application of the Fair Work Framework in workplaces across the country. 
  • Undertake further analysis on the impact of the budget on gender, including further consideration of distributional analysis and the intra-household distribution of resources. 
  • Improve the intersectional data available for all policy officers across national and local government to help with the development of future policies.
  • Develop our sustainable procurement tools and guidance to help buyers across the public sector in Scotland identify and pursue equality outcomes in relevant procurements, and identify a suitable public contract requirement from which we can develop an exemplary case study of how public sector equality duties can be met with respect to gender and procurement.
  • Undertake a review of the specific duties underpinning the public sector equality duty. That review will take into account stakeholders’ views and a range of evidence, such as the Is Scotland Fairer? https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/scotland-fairer-2018› report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The aim will be to move from a culture of compliance to one that supports progress in delivering equality and a fairer Scotland.
  • Undertake an Equal Pay Audit to help us to understand the causes of the Scottish Government’s own gender pay gap. 


Email: lorraine.lee2@gov.scot

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