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 preference 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 2021 provisional results indicate that the mean gender pay gap in Scotland is:
- 10% when comparing of men's and women's overall average hourly earnings;
- 7% when comparing men's and women's full-time average hourly earnings; and
- 27% when comparing men's full-time average hourly earnings with women's part-time average hourly earnings.
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.
- 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.
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.
- Women account for 81% of those in caring, leisure and other service jobs and 72% of administrative and secretarial workers.
- By contrast, women make-up only 15% of those employed in construction and 26% employed in manufacturing.
- While women are more likely to work in the public sector (69% local government and 77% NHS), only 35% of chief executives in the public sector are women.
- 97% of childcare and early years education workers are women and 99% of teaching assistants are women.
- Women account for 39% of managers, directors and senior officials in Scotland.
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. In general, pay gaps are higher in male-dominated occupational groups such as skilled trades and process, plant and machine operatives, while pay gaps in female-dominated occupational groups tend to be lower, for example, caring, leisure and other service occupations, and sales and customer service.
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 our most recent annual paper on gender pay gap statistics.
Briefing - gender and the workplace, June 2016 Close the Gap's briefing to MSPs for the Scottish Parliament debate on gender and the workplace, 29 June 2016
Close the Gap Working Paper 17: Gender Pay Gap Statistics This paper is an updated version of Working Paper 16: Statistics published in 2016.
Close the Gap Working Paper 20: Gender pay gap statistics This paper provides the latest gender pay gap statistics for Scotland and revisits the complexities of measuring and reporting on the pay gap.
CTG Working Paper 11: Statistics This paper is an update to the previous statistics publication.
CTG 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: 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 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.
One year on and little change: An assessment of Scottish employer gender pay gap reporting This briefing follows on from our 2018 assessment of employer gender pay gap reporting, examining the quality of 2019 reporting and analysing employer repsonses to their gender pay gaps.
Submission to Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment Close the Gap's written submission to the UK Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace.
The Gender Penalty: Exploring the causes and solutions to Scotland's gender pay gap This paper presents research which looks at the causes of Scotland’s gender pay gap, and how the causes have changed.
Women's sector response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation Close the Gap worked with Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Zero Tolerance and Equate Scotland to produce a joint response to the Scottish Government consultation on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act.