Representation of women on private sector boards: research findings

Part of a broader programme of work being undertaken to improve gender equality and diversity.


1. Sutherland, V., McTier, A., Glass, A. and McGregor, A. (2015). Analysis of the Impact and Value of Community Benefit Clauses in Procurement. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

2. The 9 protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. More details on the Equality Act are available from:

3. The Scottish Business Pledge is a voluntary commitment that companies in Scotland can make to adopt fair and progressive business practices. The Scottish Business Pledge has nine components.

  • Paying the Living Wage.
  • Committing to an innovation programme.
  • Pursuing international business opportunities.
  • Not using explotative zero hours contracts.
  • Supporting progressive workplace policies.
  • Supporting Invest in Youth.
  • Making progress on gender balance and diversity in the workforce and boardroom.
  • Playing an active role in the community.
  • Paying suppliers promptly.

To make their Business Pledge a company has to be paying the Living Wage, already delivering at least two other elements and committed to achieving the rest over time.


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