International approaches to advance equality: insights from six countries

International research publication including insight from six countries on ways to advance equality.

Section 4: Overview of Findings

In summary, our key findings centre on the use of clear guidance, set templates, streamlined reporting, and effective scrutiny.

Pay Gap Reporting

A Scotland-based Pay Gap Platform supported by clear guidance and consistency in calculation methodology could enable companies to analyse, visualise, and report data. There would be the potential to support internal and public reporting, share best practices, and promote transparency and accountability. This would encourage organisations to take concrete actions towards closing the gap through reporting and self-monitoring. We note, however, the need to ensure that pay gap data is not used to create league tables, observing that large pay gaps can often be an indicator of positive work being undertaken to diversify a workforce.

Inclusive Communications

Clear guidance with regards to inclusive communication beyond accessibility is needed. It would include cultural sensitivity and equal representation. Inclusive communication also encompasses the use of inclusive language and the consideration of diverse perspectives. It is important to foster an environment where everyone feels heard, understood, and valued, regardless of their background or identity. As such, resources to support inclusive communication should consider the tone of communications and method of communication, as well as practical considerations such as easy read requirements, language needs, including British Sign Language and Braille, and online accessibility.


In Scotland the duty to assess and review the impact of proposed new or revised projects, policies, or practice against the needs of the general equality duty provides a good foundation for intersectional analysis. With a focus on employment, creating a standardised template for reporting workforce demographics, incorporating intersecting identities, would be a sound development.

The development of sector specific evidence repositories that bring together research about the intersectional needs of communities accessing services would both reduce consultation fatigue in marginalised communities and enhance the knowledge and understanding of policy makers.


Our research suggests that increased engagement with the benefits of embedding equality in policy making increases the perceived value of taking an inclusive approach. One way to do this is to have a more active approach to EQIAs. The other key issues to enhance mainstreaming related specifically to performance management, with a focus on ensuring that personal performance review of public servants included measurement of equality impact.


Linking to the findings related to mainstreaming at a strategic level our research suggests that embedding equality in governance functions at board level and in the functions of oversight bodies, such as regulators and ombudsman, will help drive positive change. To aid this scrutiny, our interviews revealed that a sectoral, regional, or national approach to identifying and setting equality outcomes would help guide scrutiny bodies as well as support the evaluation and measurement of action taken and progress made.



Back to top