Women in Agriculture Development Programme: equality impact assessment

Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for the Women in Agriculture Development Programme (WiADP).

Stage 2: Data and evidence gathering, involvement and consultation

Include here the results of your evidence gathering (including framing exercise), including qualitative and quantitative data and the source of that information, whether national statistics, surveys or consultations with relevant equality groups.


Evidence gathered and Strength/quality of evidence


Data gaps identified and action taken


Of the total number of occupiers and spouses on farms, crofts and smallholdings, only 9.5% are under 41, whilst 34% are over 64. There is therefore an inequality and lack of representation of younger people in the industry.

The Women in Agriculture Taskforce Final Report made strong recommendations arounsd the need to support New Entrants into agriculture.

In 2018/19, of 16 -19 years olds, 16 year olds had the highest participation rate in Education, employment and training of 99.0% compared to 19 year olds who had the lowest participation rate of 83.9%.

Agricultural Census Data (RESAS)


SG Equality Evidence finder


It is important to ensure that the training is made available to women of all ages, and that the communications reflect this.


The unemployment rate for disabled people (aged 16-64) in Scotland was 9.4% in 2018, compared with an unemployment rate of 3.6% for non-disabled people.

in 2018, almost half of disabled people (16-64 years) in Scotland were economically inactive (49.7%), compared with 15.9% of non-disabled people.

SG Equality Evidence finder


There is a lack of data specifically on disabled people within the agricultural industry. This information is planned to be part of the next agricultural census undertaken by SG.


The Agricultural Census shows that 42% of all working occupiers and spouses on Scottish farms are women but that only 7% are the principal farmer.

Women are under-represented at all levels of the agricultural industry.

86.9 per cent of men in employment are in full time employment compared to 57.5 per cent of women.

The Gender pay gap in Scotland (women earn less) is 7.1%

Women do the majority of unpaid care for children, older people, sick people and disabled people; and Women are twice as likely to give up paid work in order to care.

SG Equality Evidence finder


Engender / Close the Gap 2020

All of the evidence available regarding men and women within the agricultural industry demonstrates a fundamental inequality for women and a need for policy to try to address this imbalance.

The WiADP is designed to address the very factors which are barriers to women's progress within the industry: confidence building, skills development and greater opportunities.

Pregnancy and Maternity

In 2005, the Equal Opportunities Commission conducted a formal investigation into pregnancy and maternity related discrimination. This pre-dates the reform of equality legislation in Great Britain, in the Equality Acts of 2006 and 2010. This inquiry reported that "almost half" of all pregnant women experience "some form of disadvantage at work, simply for being pregnant or taking maternity [leave]. 30,000 are forced out of their jobs" (p.4). This same report highlighted the potential loss in earnings for women returning to work, from between five percent and 14% for women on lower incomes, and that 1 in 5 women returning to work after maternity leave were placed on a lower level of job.

Women are clearly involved in the full range of farming activities, most commonly family care/household management (85%), running errands (79%), administration and book keeping (67%), and livestock care in various forms (65%). This is largely consistent with the skills they identified contributing to their farms. Women are heavily involved in farm finances.

In general, women retain responsibility for domestic work and child care. They are very busy, juggling childcare, farm work, housework and off-farm work.

Asked about barriers to women's greater participation as land managers, 54% of respondents identified 'prioritise children' as a barrier.



Particular attention will be given to ensuring that training programmes are made accessible to women who are pregnant or nursing young children. We will endeavour to support women at all stages of life and ensure that pregnancy and maternity or caring responsibilities, do not exclude women from taking part in the training programme. For example we will seek to ensure that training programmes have flexible start times which reflect the needs of women given the much higher length of time they devote to caring responsibilities.

Gender Reassignment

Very limited data available on the trans population within the UK.

Estimated to be in the region of 1% of the population.

  • Almost one in five LGBT staff (18 per cent) have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because they're LGBT.
  • One in eight trans people (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by customers or colleagues in the last year because of being trans.

Almost a third of non-binary people (31 per cent) and one in five trans people (18 per cent) don't feel able to wear work attire representing their gender expression.


LGBT in Britain Work Report, 2018


There is clearly a huge data gap here in relation to the general population. There is no evidence whatsoever to ascertain how many people working in agriculture may be trans. As a very small % of the general population, and given the highly traditional attitudes towards gender roles and gender assignment within the agricultural community, the number of individuals within Scottish agriculture undergoing or having undergone gender reassignment is likely to be very small. Nevertheless the issues may be more significant for trans individuals working in agriculture, given the culture of the industry.

Sexual Orientation

In 2018, people who identified as 'LGB and other' were twice as likely to be unemployed compared to those who identified as 'heterosexual' (4.0 percent versus 2.0 per cent). It is important to note that a higher proportion of those identifying as 'LGB and other' were in the age groups 16-24 and 25-34, which were also the age groups where unemployment was higher. Therefore, the statistical inequality may be more about age than sexual orientation.

SG Equality Evidence finder


There is a data gap in relation to those identifying as LGB+ in the agricultural industry.

The next agricultural census should include a question about sexual orientation, to gain a better understanding of this protected characteristic amongst agricultural workers.


The employment rate for the Minority Ethnic population aged 16 to 64 was 59.3 per cent. This is lower than the rate for white British/Scottish population (75.7 per cent) giving a gap in employment rates between minority ethnic and white of 16.4 percentage points.

  • The white British/Scottish population has consistently had an employment rate that exceeds the Minority Ethnic population. The Minority Ethnic employment gap was much higher for women than men. For women the gap was 22.0 percentage points and for men it was 9.5 percentage points. The gap in the employment rate for the Minority Ethnic population was largest for ages 16 to 24 (26.1 percentage points); followed by ages 25 to 34 (25.3 percentage points), ages 35 to 49 (15.0 percentage points), and ages 50 to 64 (3.1 percentage points).

There are approximately 7,000 Seasonal workers employed in Scottish Agriculture every year – many of whom come from Eastern European countries.

NFUS/ SG estimate

There is limited data about ethnicity / race in the agricultural population.

Workers from Eastern Europe tend to be seasonal workers who come to work for specific periods – often for very intensive work. We do not know how many might stay or take up permanent careers in agriculture in Scotland.

The next agricultural census should include a question about ethnicity / race to gain a better understanding of this protected characteristic amongst agricultural workers.

Religion or Belief

Faith Community Members (In Scotland):

Buddhist 12,795

Christian 2,850,199

Hindu 16,379

Jewish 5,887

Muslim 76,737

Sikh 9,055

Other 15,248

2011 Census

There is limited data about religion / belief within the agricultural population.

The next agricultural census should ask a question about this to gain a better understanding of religion/belief amongst agricultural workers.

The training programme should make sure it considers any relevant accommodations for those of a particular faith e.g.: avoid major festivals; ask about dietary requirements etc.

Marriage and Civil Partnership

(the Scottish Government does not require assessment against this protected characteristic unless the policy or practice relates to work, for example HR policies and practices - refer to Definitions of Protected Characteristics

In Scottish Agriculture as a whole:

  • 83 % of full-time and part-time working spouses are women

Excluding crofts and smallholdings:

  • 91% of farm spouses are women

Agricultural Census data (RESAS)

The agricultural census data does not distinguish between spouses in marriage and spouses in civil partnership.


Email: sara.thorpe@gov.scot

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