No Pay Day

Today is No Pay Day in Scotland, which means that women will be effectively working for free for the next 48 days due to the gender pay gap.

Over 40 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force the prevalence of the pay gap illustrates the massive inequality between men and women’s pay.

Three main causes of the gender pay gap have been identified, firstly occupational segregation which describes the clustering of women into stereotypically female roles, which are also associated with low pay. This also accounts for barriers to women’s progression within workplaces. Women are also more likely to have caring responsibilities and so a lack of flexible working within workplaces means they are more likely to work part time. There is also discrimination in pay systems, with many women being paid less for work that is the same or similar, or of the same value as male colleagues’ work.

When comparing women and men’s full time hourly earnings the pay gap currently sits at 13.3%, a slight decrease from last year’s figure of 13.9%. However the increase in hourly pay from 2012 to 2013 for women is greater compared to men for both the mean and median measurements, which explains the slight decrease in Scotland.

The pay gap when comparing women’s part-time and men’s full time hourly pay increases to 33.7%. It is important to note this comparison as women are more likely to work in lower paid part time work.

The gender pay gap varied significantly for women dependant on their occupational group. In the ‘Managers and Senior Officials’ group women earn on average 23.1% less than their male counterparts, showing the persistence of the glass ceiling within Scotland’s workplace culture. Skilled trades saw a similarly high gap of 21.8%.

Figures also show that as women get older they face some of the largest pay gaps with women aged between 50 and 59 in the UK earning on average 21.4% less or a difference of £4.05 per hour. This data is only currently published as a UK wide and does not allow for Scottish specific analysis.

The Scottish Government Economic Strategy aims to achieve economic growth through tackling the causes of inequality and the barriers to economic opportunity. If this is to be achieved it is essential that women’s economic equality is kept firmly on the agenda.

If you would like support in identifying and addressing issues with pay and progression within your organisation or workplace, please contact us on