Research and analysis

Research and analysis on women and the labour market, the pay gap, its causes, and solutions. This section includes statistical information on the gender pay gap in Scotland.

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Gender pay gap statistics paper 2023

This paper provides information on how to calculate and report on the gender pay gap. It aims to explore some of the complexities around different methods of calculation and why it is important to understand what is behind the information reported in the media. It will be useful for those interested in gender-sensitive, sex-disaggregated data, and delivery agencies which support organisations and businesses to challenge gender inequality in the workplace. The paper will also be useful for businesses and organisations that are looking to generate, and report on, their pay gaps.

Filename: Gender-pay-gap-statistics-paper-2023.pdf | File size: 631KB
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An Unequal Burden - How Covid-19 has affected women’s employment, financial security and unpaid work.

Women’s inequality has been exacerbated by the social, economic and labour market implications of the Covid-19 crisis. However, the lack of gender-sensitive, sex-disaggregated data created barriers to achieving a full understanding of women’s experiences of the pandemic. In particular, specific intersectional data relating to the experiences of young, disabled and Black and minority (BME) women in Scotland.

Recognising these critical data gaps, Close the Gap joined with other women’s organisations across the UK in a polling project funded by abrdn Financial Fairness Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust to collect quantitative survey data on the impact of Covid-19 on women's wellbeing, mental health and financial security.

This briefing collates the key findings from the three rounds of polling data to provide a summary of the project findings in the realm of employment, training, skills and poverty.

Filename: An-Unequal-Burden---How-Covid-19-has-affected-womens-employment-financial-security-and-unpaid-work-2.pdf | File size: 706KB
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Joint briefing on women, caring responsibilities and furloughing

A joint briefing from Close the Gap and Engender on women, caring responsibilities and furloughing during COVID-19.

Filename: Close-the-Gap-and-Engender-briefing-on-women-caring-responsibilities-and-furloughing.pdf | File size: 204KB
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Falling Through the Cracks: Women, COVID-19 and the gig economy

A short briefing on how the COVID-19 epidemic may affect women working in the gig economy, which includes specific recommendations for Scottish and UK Governments.

Filename: Women-COVID-19-and-the-gig-economy.pdf | File size: 196KB
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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.

Filename: One-year-on-and-little-change---An-assessment-of-Scottish-employer-gender-pay-gap-reporting.pdf | File size: 89KB
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Close the Gap Working Paper 21: Gender pay gap statistics

This paper is an updated version of Working Paper 20 Gender Pay Gap Statistics
published in 2019.

Filename: Working-Paper-21-Gender-Pay-Gap-statistics-2019.pdf | File size: 264KB
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Flexible Working for All? The impact of the right to request regulations in Scotland

Enabling flexible working is a critical component in closing Scotland’s gender pay gap. In the light of the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees in 2014, which aimed to increase the quality and availability of flexible jobs in the UK, this study focuses on the use of formal flexible working in Scotland during the period 2010 to 2015, considering what type of employee works flexibly and how this has changed over time. The headline finding is that there is little evidence that it has resulted in more flexible workplaces for women in Scotland.

Filename: Flexible-Working-for-All.pdf | File size: 1208KB
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Still Not Visible: Research on Black and minority ethnic women's experiences of employment in Scotland

This report presents the findings of research which examined the experiences of Black and minority ethnic women in Scotland's labour market. It comprises a review of existing evidence, and analysis of focus group and survey data.

Filename: 1557499847_Still-Not-Visible.pdf | File size: 964KB
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Everything you wanted to know about the gender pay gap but were afraid to ask

This briefing aims to answer the most commonly asked questions about the pay gap.

Filename: Pay-gap-FAQ.pdf | File size: 83KB
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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.

Filename: Gender-Pay-Gap-Statistics---Working-Paper-20-.pdf | File size: 260KB
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The Road to Change? An assessment of Scottish employer reporting of the gender pay gap regulations

The findings of Close the Gap's assessment of Scottish employer reporting under the gender pay gap information regulations.

Filename: The-Road-to-Change.pdf | File size: 50KB
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Women, work and poverty in Scotland: What you need to know

This briefing provides an overview of the intersections of women, work and poverty in Scotland.

Filename: 1---Women-work-and-poverty-what-you-need-to-know.pdf | File size: 64KB
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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. It also explores the policy responses to the pay gap, and what needs to be done to close the gap.

Filename: The-Gender-Penalty-Feb-2018.pdf | File size: 432KB
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Close the Gap Working Paper 17: Gender Pay Gap Statistics

This paper is an updated version of Working Paper 16: Statistics published in 2016. It provides the latest gender pay gap statistics for Scotland and revisits the complexities for measuring and reporting on the gender pay gap.

Filename: Briefing17.pdf | File size: 245KB
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MSP briefing for IWD parliamentary debate

A briefing for MSPs for the parliamentary debate on International Women's Day 2017, the theme of which is women in the changing world of work.

Filename: Close-the-Gap-MSP-briefing-for-IWD-2017-debate.pdf | File size: 502KB
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How networks and mentoring can address occupational segregation: What policymakers can learn from WiRES

This report summarises the evidence gathered from a Close the Gap project which developed the WiRES network. It argues that policymakers should use women's networks and mentoring to reduce occupational segregation in male-dominated sectors.

Filename: 1480883421_CtG-How-womens-networks-and-mentoring-can-address-occupational-segregation.pdf | File size: 601KB
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Women and Work: What comes next in a post-referendum Scotland?

Close the Gap Working Paper 13 gives an overview of the implications for women and work in the context of the Scottish independence referendum.

Filename: 1480883185_CTG-Working-Paper-13---Women-and-work-what-comes-next-in-a-post-referendum-Scotland.pdf | File size: 155KB
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Fixing the Leaky Pipeline

A position paper on how reducing occupational segregation in the Scottish renewable energy sector can address skills shortages.

Filename: 1480883000_CTG-Working-Paper-7---Renewables.pdf | File size: 647KB
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Women: The missing link?

A discussion paper on occupational segregation in science, engineering and technology.

Filename: 1480882846_Workingpaper3.pdf | File size: 2808KB
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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

Filename: Close-the-Gap-briefing---Debate-on-gender-equality-in-the-workplace.pdf | File size: 324KB
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Securing Women's Futures: using Scotland's new social security powers to close the gender equality gap

This joint report, produced with Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Scottish Refugee Council and Carers Scotland, summarises why and how women are affected by social security policy and sets out ways in which new powers can be engaged to increase women’s equality in Scotland. Its recommendations are presented in terms of systemic gender inequalities that dictate the impact of social security policy on women – paid work, unpaid work, domestic abuse and multiple discrimination.

Filename: Securing-Womens-Futures---using-Scotlands-new-social-security-powers-to-close-the-gender-equality-gap.pdf | File size: 531KB
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Gender Equality Pays: The economic case for addressing women's labour market inequality

This paper presents research into the link between gender equality and economic benefit. Its findings show the clear business case for organisations to advance women’s equality in their workforce through measures such as agile or flexible working and increasing women’s representation on boards. The research also examines the impact of tackling gender inequalities on Scotland’s economy.

This paper was written by Emily Thomson, Senior Lecturer, and Naveed Hakeem, PhD student, of Women in Scotland's Economy (WiSE) Research Centre.

Filename: Gender-Equality-Pays.pdf | File size: 358KB
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CTG Working Paper 16: Statistics

This paper is an updated version of Working Paper 14 Statistics published in 2015.
It provides the latest gender pay gap statistics for Scotland and revisits the complexities
of measuring and reporting on the pay gap.

Filename: CtG-Working-Paper-16-Statistics.pdf | File size: 218KB
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Monitoring Scottish public bodies' compliance with PSED in 2013

Close the Gap assessed a sample of public bodies in Scotland to review their compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty in relation to gender and employment in 2013. This report summarises those findings and makes recommendations to support public bodies to meet future PSED requirements.

Filename: 1450180414_CTG-Working-Paper-12---Monitoring-Scottish-public-bodies-compliance-with-the-public-sector-equality-duty.pdf | File size: 303KB
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Making Progress? An assessment of employers' compliance with the public sector equality duty

This report presents the findings of Close the Gap's assessment of public authorities' compliance with the public sector equality duty in 2015. The assessment looks at a sample of public authorities' reporting of gender-disaggregated employee data, gender pay gap information, mainstreaming, and progress on meeting equality outcomes.

Filename: Making-Progress---An-assessment-of-employers-compliance-with-PSED-November-2015.pdf | File size: 287KB
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Gender and 'Welfare Reform' in Scotland: A Joint Position Paper

This joint position paper on gender and ‘welfare reform’ draws together the multiple ways in which women are penalised by cuts to the benefits and tax credits system, and describes the gender inequality that accounts for these impacts. It also makes a set of recommendations to Scottish Government as it shapes its ‘mitigation’ response to the UK’s ‘welfare reform’ agenda. This paper was produced in collaboration with Engender, Scottish Refugee Council, Scottish Women’s Aid, Scottish Women’s Convention and Zero Tolerance.

Filename: Gender-and-Welfare-Reform-in-Scotland---A-Joint-Position-Paper.pdf | File size: 454KB
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A Widening Gap: Woman and Welfare Reform

Since 2010, £26 billion worth of cuts have been made to benefits, tax credits, pay and pensions. 85% of this has been taken from women’s incomes.
This is a joint report from Engender, Close the Gap, Scottish Refugee Council, Scottish Women’s Aid, and Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations looking at the devastating impact of welfare report on women in Scotland.

Filename: A-Widening-Gap-Women-and-Welfare-Reform.pdf | File size: 345KB
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Close the Gap Working Paper 14- Gender Pay Gap Statistics

This paper is an updated version of Working Paper 11 Statistics published in 2014.
It provides the latest gender pay gap statistics for Scotland and revisits the complexities
of measuring and reporting on the pay gap.

Filename: 1430321086_CTG-Working-Paper-14--Gender-Pay-Gap-Statistics.pdf | File size: 272KB
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CTG Working Paper 11: Statistics

This paper is an update to the previous statistics publication. It provides the latest pay gap figures for 2013 and includes information on how to calculate and report on the gender pay gap.

Filename: CTG-Working-Paper-11---Statistics.pdf | File size: 216KB
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Missing out on the benefits?

Close the Gap commissioned researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University to investigate the extent to which Scottish employers are taking actions to close any gender pay gaps. This brief summarises the findings and discusses the business benefits for employers who take steps to tackle workplace gender inequality.

Filename: 1376469709_MIssingoutonthebenefits-CTG.pdf | File size: 403KB
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MSP briefing June 2012

A briefing for MSPs in advance of the Scottish Parliament debate on 20 June 2012.

Filename: Briefing-on-women-and-work-June-2012.pdf | File size: 377KB
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Jobs for the boys and the girls: promoting a smart, successful and equal Scotland

This is the final report (Scottish component) of the then Equal Opportunities Committee's general formal investigation into occupational segregation. It was published in February 2005 and produced in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University.

Filename: Occ-seg-Scotland-Final-report-Feb-2005.pdf | File size: 1053KB
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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. This was done by collating and analysing local government employment data, obtained by submitting freedom of information (FoI) requests to each local authority in Scotland.

Filename: 1374995487_Final-report-April-2012.pdf | File size: 535KB
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CTG Working Paper 5: Statistics

This paper is an update to the previous statistics publication, Working Paper 4. It provides the pay gap figures for 2011 and includes information on how to calculate and report on the gender pay gap.

Filename: Working-paper5.pdf | File size: 624KB
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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.

Filename: Workingpaper4.pdf | File size: 627KB
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CTG Working Paper 1: Women in Recession: Making Gender Equality a Priority for Economic Recovery

Professor Ailsa McKay and Emily Thomson, from Caledonian Business School, write about gendering economic stimulus packages and interventions into the labour market.

Filename: CTG-Working-Paper-1---Recession-and-recovery---Ailsa-McKay-and-Emily-Thomson.pdf | File size: 632KB
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Valuing Diversity: The business case for gender equality during an economic downturn (Emily Thomson)

This brief position paper outlines the main ‘business case’ arguments for action to close gender gaps in employment and reinvigorates them in light of the current economic downturn in Scotland.

Filename: 1374995619_Valuing-Diversity-CG.pdf | File size: 1049KB
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The relationship between actions to promote gender equality and profit

This position paper, by Emily Thomson (Employment Research Institute) collates and analyses the existing evidence in support of the business case for addressing gender inequality in individual firms.

Filename: 1374995611_The-relationship-between-actions-to-promote-gender-equality-and-profit.pdf | File size: 2281KB