January has been a busy month for all of us at Close the Gap: we published the ultimate guide to the gender pay gap, launched our Equally Safe at Work employer accreditation programme, and opened recruitment for new trustees. If, like us, you’ve earned a break – grab a hot drink while we fill you in on all things women and work.
Are you committed to women’s labour market equality? Do you have the ability to think strategically and creatively? We are looking to add to our fantastic board of trustees.
We are delighted to be launching Equally Safe at Work, an innovative and world-leading employer accreditation programme that will enable local government employers to advance gender equality and prevent violence against women. This coincides with a debate in Scottish Parliament happening later today at 5:00PM, after Gail Ross MSP lodged a motion welcoming the programme’s launch.
Writing or talking about the gender pay gap can be a tricky business. Whether it’s a piece in a national newspaper, or an informal (heated?) chat at your local coffee shop, discussions of the gender pay gap can cover a huge amount of ground, referencing cold, hard data, social norms and conventions, deeply-held opinions and everything in between. Is it really the gender pay gap you’re talking about, or is it unequal pay? How are these different, and do they interact? Why do different reports in the media use different figures for the pay gap? Is the pay gap even a thing anymore? (Spoiler alert: YES)
Close the Gap is launching a new report, Still Not Visible: Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Experiences of Employment in Scotland. The research explores BME women’s employment experiences including recruitment, workplace culture, training and childcare.
To further their ambition of at least halving the disability employment gap in Scotland, the Scottish Government have published an employment action plan for disabled people. The Plan proposes actions for supporting disabled people into employment, supporting employers to recruit and retain disabled people and improving the employment experience.
This month has seen Women’s labour market equality in the spotlight; November 10th was the UK’s Equal Pay Day, highlighting the gender pay gap and marking the day that women effectively stop earning compared to their male counterparts. Women’s state pension age rose to match that of men, prompting concerns over the welfare of older women.The 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence have begun; this year’s theme is Ending Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work which has built on the success of campaigns such as #MeToo in highlighting the scale of sexual harassment and assault at work. After such a busy month, you deserve a cup of tea while we catch you up on all things women and work.
The 25th of November marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism for the elimination of violence against women and girls, an international campaign started in 1991 by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The campaign aims to raise awareness about violence against women as an enduring social problem that undermines communities and workplaces.
The nights are drawing in, the sound of fireworks is (thankfully) fading, and the heating has been cranked up. Yes, it’s that time of year again: it’s Equal Pay Day.
This month saw the UK’s gender pay gap drop so slightly that you’d be forgiven for not even noticing, low paid women walking out of their workplaces for two days demanding an end to their decade long equal pay dispute and us, playing with this majestic owl.
New data from the UK Office for National Statistics shows that there has been a very slight narrowing of Scotland’s gender pay gap from 15% to 14%. There is an across the board 1% narrowing when also looking at the experiences of women working full-time and those working part-time. Women working full-time earn 10.2% less than their male counterparts, while part-time women earn on average 29.7% less than men working full-time illustrating the systemic undervaluation of "women's work" which continues to be concentrated in part-time, low-paid jobs.
Ten years ago, Close the Gap held an event, with support from Unison and the TUC, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the equal pay strikes which eventually led to the passing of the Equal Pay Act in 1970. We were lucky to have two of the Ford Dagenham sewing machinists speak about their experiences of the strikes, and reflect on the significance of their actions. We also paid homage to Agnes McLean who led the Scottish fight for equal pay, first at Rolls Royce Hillington in 1943, and later in a series of strikes across the West of Scotland in 1968. The right to equal pay for equal work is fundamental to women’s labour market equality but, almost 50 years on, we’re still very far from that right being realised.
One of the key messages of this year’s Challenge Poverty Week is that poverty affects us all. At Close the Gap, we know that it affects women. We know this because the evidence shows that poverty in Scotland is gendered.
There are normally very few things that brighten up a Monday morning, but our monthly reading roundup is here just in time for an extra long coffee break (you deserve it!). September saw the marking of the first mothers’ equal pay day, parliament saw its first baby attendee and we all wished Serena Williams would be our best friend.
Our monthly news round-up is back! This month includes stories on the UK gender pay gap regulations, falling numbers of female apprentices, and unfair recruitment practice in higher education. Why not make yourself a cup of tea and take ten minutes out to catch up on our August bulletin on all things women and work?
Women’s campaign groups, equalities organisations, and individual gender advocates in Scotland do amazing things, often with very limited resources, and little attention. We are planning to highlight some of the people and groups making women’s equality happen, to celebrate their work and inspire others to take action. We’ll be doing this on Monday using the hashtag
We’re looking for an enthusiastic person with strong organising skills to provide administrative support to contribute to the effective delivery of Close the Gap’s work. Committed to women’s labour market equality, you’ll be working within our small, busy team and also supporting the development of our policy and project work.
Close the Gap is pleased to announce that we are developing an employer accreditation programme to support the implementation of Equally Safe, Scotland’s violence against women strategy. Equally Safe critically recognises that gender inequality is a root cause of violence against women and addressing labour market inequality is a necessary step in ending violence against women. The employer accreditation programme will be initially piloted in a diversity of local authorities across Scotland, with the view of a larger roll out in the future.
Close the Gap assessment of Scottish gender pay gap reporting suggests most employers are not planning to take action to close their pay gap
The current level of discussion around the pay gap is unprecedented as the deadline for large companies reporting their pay gap gets ever closer (just under two weeks to go, in case you wondered). At our conference in February, we launched our new research The Gender Penalty: Exploring the causes and solutions to Scotland’s gender pay gap.