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Progress stalls as gender pay gap remains static

This news post is 8 months old

Gender pay gap remains in favour of men

Data from a leading equality charity shows there has been little progress in closing the gender pay gap in Scotland.

Five years on since the introduction of reporting, Close the Gap, Scotland’s expert on the gender pay gap, has published a report showing that despite some positive shifts, persistent problems remain.

These include:

  • the average pay gap of Scottish employers assessed remains 12%.
  • In 2022 the vast majority of employers (80%) had a gender pay gap in favour of men, up from 78% in 2021.
  • In 2022 there were high pay gaps of up to 80% in male-dominated sectors such as sport, construction, finance and manufacturing, an increase from up to 60% in these sectors in 2021.
  • The average pay gap in the most male-dominated organisations in 2022 was 24%. This is double the Scottish average of 12%, and an increase from 21% in 2021.
  • High bonus gaps of up to 100% continue to define male-dominated sectors such as sport, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and transport and storage.
  • There has been a significant increase in the proportion of employers publishing a narrative report alongside their pay gap information, almost half (48%) in 2022 compared with 30% in 2018. However, the vast majority of the analyses (76%) was found to be of poor quality, indicating many employers still need to build their understanding of how to use their data.
  • The proportion of employers that have committed to action to tackle their pay gap has almost doubled from around one in five (19%) in 2018 to more than a third (36%) in 2022.

Anna Ritchie Allan, executive director, said: “It’s welcome to see more employers tacking action on the gender pay gap, and we’re pleased to share good practice where it happening. However, the majority of action described remains small-scale and untargeted. It’s possible to shift the needle on the gender pay gap, but it requires companies to understand why they’ve got a pay gap and then take steps that will create change.

“Five years since gender pay gap reporting was introduced, two-thirds of employers still haven’t committed to action. It’s clear that reporting alone doesn’t create change, and we need stronger regulations that compel employers to take action to address the systemic inequalities women face in the workplace.” 



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