Statistics

The pay gap

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is the dataset used by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) for calculating the pay gap which is published late autumn every year. ASHE reports the pay gap using the mean and the median hourly earnings of men working full-time compared to women working full-time and women working part-time.

ONS reports the pay gap using both the mean and median average hourly pay. Close the Gap gives preferences to the mean, as median figures underplay the fact that there are a few extremely high earning staff, most of whom are men, and that many women are clustered in the lowest paid professions. The mean takes into account the outliers and reflects the structural inequality between men and women and the issues relating to vertical occupational segregation.

In 2016 provisional results indicated that the mean gender pay gap in Scotland is:

  • 14.9% when comparing of men's and women's overall average hourly earnings;
  • 10.7% when comparing men's and women's full-time average hourly earnings; and
  • 32.2% when comparing men's full-time average hourly earnings with women's part-time average hourly earnings.

On average women in Scotland earn £182.90 per week less than men.

Read more about pay gap statistics in Close the Gap's annual paper which looks at the complexities of measuring and reporting on the pay gap.

Labour market

  • Women account for 49% of the labour market.
  • 42% of women employed in Scotland work part-time compared to 13% of men.
  • Women account for 76% of all part-time workers in Scotland.

Occupational segregation

Women working in Scotland are clustered in a small number of jobs and sectors. For example, women's employment is concentrated in the public sector, with 48% of working women represented in Public Administration, Education and Health industries. Women represent over half of workers in only six of the 20 Standard Industry Classifications, whereas men tend to be more evenly spread across industry groups.

  • Around 80% of administrative and secretarial workers and those in personal service jobs are women.
  • While women are more likely to work in the public sector (67% local government and 81% NHS), only a third of chief executives in the sector are women.
  • 97% of childcare and early years education workers are women and 98% of classroom assistants are women.
  • Less than 3% of chartered civil engineers in Scotland are women.
  • Only 10% of senior managers in science engineering and technology professions are women.
  • Scotland's Modern Apprenticeship programme continues to be acutely segregated by gender, where women account for only 2% of construction apprentices, 20% of manufacturing apprentices, 97% of childcare apprentices, and 93% of hairdressing apprentices.

The undervaluation of "women's work" such as care and cleaning is a key cause of women's low pay and therefore the gender pay gap. There are also pay gaps in different occupational groups, which are shown in the table below. In general, pay gaps are higher in male-dominated occupational groups such as skilled trades (25.2%) and process, plant and machine operatives (18.9%), while pay gaps in female-dominated occupational groups tend to be lower, for example, caring, leisure and other service occupations (6.1%), and sales and customer service (9.0%).

Source ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings provisional results 2015.

As well as looking at the complexities of measuring and reporting on the pay gap, Close the Gap's annual paper on gender pay gap statistics also looks at pay gap trends, gendered pay differences within occupational groups, and pay gaps by age and sector. Read the paper is here.

Related publications

Briefing - gender and the workplace, June 2016Briefing - gender and the workplace, June 2016 C

Close the Gap Working Paper 17: Gender Pay Gap StatisticsClose the Gap Working Paper 17: Gender Pay Gap Statistics This paper is an updated version of Working Paper 16: Statistics published in 2016.

CTG Working Paper 11: StatisticsCTG Working Paper 11: Statistics This paper is an update to the previous statistics publication.

CTG Working Paper 4: StatisticsCTG Working Paper 4: Statistics This short paper discusses the gender pay gap statistics, how they are generated and why different figures are reported for Scotland and the UK.

CTG Working Paper 5: StatisticsCTG Working Paper 5: Statistics This paper is an update to the previous statistics publication, Working Paper 4.

CTG Working Paper 6: Invisible women, employment data collection in Scottish local governmentCTG Working Paper 6: Invisible women, employment data collection in Scottish local government As part of a joint initiative with the STUC Women's Committee, Close the Gap conducted research which was intended to assess the impact of current public spending cuts on women's employment in local government in Scotland, and to determine whether the anecdotal evidence is indicative of a shifting pattern of employment practice.

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