iMatter Survey 2022: demographic data exploration

Independent report by Webropol providing detailed information and analysis of staff experience in health and social care across Scotland, broken down by protected characteristics (as stated in Equality Act 2010). This report compiles data from the 2021 and 2022 iMatter survey.

Workplace Experience: Overall Experience

Workplace Experience

In this chapter we explore the relationship between demographic characteristics and how staff feel about their experience at work. Differences may be as a result of a range of factors as well as, or apart from, the demographic characteristics being compared. Where differences are seen it does not necessarily point towards absolute differences in how staff are treated at work as it could also be reflective of how different demographic groups perceive their experience.

Comparisons in this report are primarily made between mean scores as the distribution of responses in smaller demographic groups would be based on very small sample sizes.

Statistical Significance

When comparing data between two or more groups e.g. overall experience scores given by those who are male and those who are female, it is important to consider whether they are 'true' or 'chance' differences. Statistical significance testing is used to examine the size of difference and to establish the level of confidence that a 'true' change has happened.

The key element in determining whether differences are statistically significant is the number of responses. The larger the number of responses, the smaller the minimum change that can be deemed statistically significant (meaning that the change is highly likely to be 'true').

Across large demographic groups within Health and Social Care, differences of 0.3, or even 0.2 points would be significant. When looking at demographic groups that have less than 500 people in them, then differences of 3 or 4 points would be needed to be statistically significant.

Other factors that can influence the extent to which differences are true are the percentage of the population included within the sample i.e. the iMatter response rate. However, when looking at demographic data we only know the profile of those responding and not of those who do not. Therefore, statistical significance is an approximate calculation. Each score and each combination of demographic groups will have slightly different levels at which the differences would be statistically significant.

For the purposes of this summary report, the following differences in scores should be deemed to be significant:

  • Samples of 100 to 500 responses in each group: differences of 4 points or more are typically significant
  • Samples of 500 - 1000 responses in each group: differences of 3 points or more are typically significant
  • Samples of between 1,000 and 2,500 responses in each group: differences of 2 points are typically significant
  • Samples of over 2,500 responses in each group: differences of 1 point are typically significant

Note: Because iMatter scores are reported with no decimal places, there are incidences where significant movements are not evident in data reported at whole integer level only. Occasionally where there appears to be a movement in scores, this is simply a result of rounding to whole integers and the difference is in fact, not significant.

Overall experience is measured on an 11 point scale (0 – 10), where 0 is a very poor experience and 10 a very good experience.

  • Overall, male staff score lower for overall satisfaction than females, with a mean of 6.8 for males compared to 7.0 for females. This trend is seen in other staff engagement surveys. For example, published data from the Civil Service People Survey* shows females typically scoring higher than males.
  • The largest difference is in the proportions scoring 4 or less (14% of males and 11% of females)
Overall Experience 0 – 4 5 – 6 7 – 8 9 - 10
Male 14% 22% 41% 23%
Female 11% 24% 41% 24%
  • The youngest and the oldest staff score highest for overall experience, perhaps reflecting their life stages with the very young just starting out on their working life and the older staff having reached a period of contentment in their working life.
Overall Experience Under 25 years 25 – 34 years 35 – 44 years 45 – 54 years 55 – 64 years` 65 years & over
Mean score 7.3 7.0 7.0 6.9 7.0 7.4
  • Staff who prefer to self-describe give the lowest scores for their overall experience at work across all the sexual orientation groups. Those who consider themselves Trans or to have a Trans history score lower than those who are not Trans. The tendency for people who are Trans or have a Trans history to score lower than those who don't is also seen in the Civil Service People Survey*, suggesting it is a general trend rather than something that is specific to Health & Social Care in Scotland
Demographic Group Overall Experience (Mean Score)
Straight/Heterosexual 7.0
Gay/Lesbian 6.7
Bisexual 6.6
Self describe 6.2
Not Trans 6.9
Trans 6.6

*Source: Civil-Service-People-Survey-2021-results-by-all-demographics.ods (

  • Those with a disability tend to score their overall experience lower, particularly where that condition involves mental health and/or development disorders. Again, this trend is reflective data seen elsewhere. The Civil Service People Survey also shows staff with long term limiting condition, illness or disability rating their satisfaction at work notably lower than those without.
Demographic Group Overall Experience Mean score Demographic Group Overall Experience Mean score
Disability Yes 6.5 Hearing Loss 6.8
Disability No 7.0 Sight Loss 6.6
    Learning Disability 6.5
    Learning Difficulty 6.7
    Developmental Disorder 6.4
    Physical Disability 6.5
    Mental Health 6.3
    Long-term 6.7
    Other & Speaking Loss/Difficulty 6.9
  • Those who are Muslim, Hindu or Sikh score considerably higher than average for overall experience, while Pagan and 'Other' religions score lower
Demographic Group Religion Overall Experience Mean score
None 6.9
Church of Scotland 7.0
Roman Catholic 7.1
Other Christian 7.0
Muslim 7.4
Hindu 7.6
Buddhist 7.1
Sikh 7.6
Jewish 7.0
Pagan 6.4
Other 6.6
  • Staff who are of Arab, African or Asian (Indian or Bangladeshi) ethnicity score highly for overall experience, along with those who identify as White Polish
  • White British (other than Scottish) have the lowest overall experience score, along with those who identify as 'other' ethnicity
  • Benchmark data from the Civil Service People Survey shows a broadly similar pattern with those of mixed/multiple ethnicity rating lowest. Asian ethnicities tend to rate highest along with those of Arab ethnicity
Demographic Group Ethnicity Overall Experience Mean score
White 6.9
White Scottish 6.9
White Other British 6.8
White Irish 6.9
White Polish 7.5
White Other 7.0
Mixed/Multiple 6.9
Asian 7.4
Pakistani, Scottish Pakistani or British Pakistani 7.3
Indian, Scottish Indian or British Indian 7.5
Chinese, Scottish Chinese or British Chinese 7.1
Other + Bangladeshi, Scottish Bangladeshi or British Bangladeshi 7.5
African 7.6
Caribbean or Black 6.9
Other 7.0
Arab, Scottish Arab or British Arab 7.6
Other ethnic group 6.8
  • The pattern of males scoring lower than females is repeated across all age groups. It is also seen across ethnic groups where females score higher than males with the exception of those who are of African and mixed ethnicities among whom males score higher than females.
Overall Experience (Mean Score) Male Female
Under 35 years 7.0 7.1
35 – 54 years 7.0 6.8
55 years and over 7.1 6.9
White 6.8 7.0
Mixed/Multiple 7.0 6.9
Asian 7.4 7.4
African 7.7 7.5
Caribbean/Black 6.6 7.1
Other ethnicity 6.9 7.1
  • Looking at differences in Overall Experience scores between males and females within the various staff groupings, there is typically a similar pattern with males scoring lower than females
  • The exceptions to this are both NHSScotland and Local Authority male Senior Managers who score higher than their female colleagues. Males in Personal & Social (LA) also score higher than females.
NHSScotland Male Female Local Authority Male Female
Admin Services 7.3 7.4 Adult Services 7.1 7.1
Allied Health 6.8 6.9 Business Services 7.4 7.6
Ambulance Services 6.1 6.1 Children's Services 7.0 7.1
Health Science Services 6.8 6.9 Criminal Justice 7.1 7.5
Medical & Dental 6.6 6.8 Older People Services 6.8 7.0
Medical & Dental Support 6.5 7.1 Senior Managers 8.0 7.4
Nursing & Midwifery 6.5 6.6 Strategic Development 7.4 7.6
Therapeutic 7.0 7.1      
Personal & Social 7.5 7.3      
Senior Managers 7.7 7.5      
Support Services 6.8 7.2      



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