Guest Post: Mainstreaming Spotlight - Close the Gap

To mark the release of Engender's new report, What Works for Women: Improving gender mainstreaming in Scotland, we're sharing how mainstreaming is important to the work of some of Scotland's equalities organisations. Here, Lindsey Millen from Close the Gap talks about how mainstreaming is essential for their work on women's labour market participation.

What Works for Women: Improving Gender Mainstreaming in Scotland Spotlight: Close the Gap "Policy that responds to the specific experiences of women is also better quality and better value for money – put simply, it delivers for everyone."

Why is gender mainstreaming important to your organisation?

Gender mainstreaming is critical to delivering women’s labour market equality and, in doing so, tackle wider gender inequality. Many of the causes of the gender pay gap are not unlawful, e.g. the lack of quality flexible working at senior levels and a lack of affordable wraparound childcare. In order to tackle these issues, gender must be at the heart of policymaking. Policy that responds to the specific experiences of women is also better quality and better value for money – put simply, it delivers for everyone. Gender mainstreaming is such a valuable tool for policymakers and we need to see it being used effectively.

What area(s) of mainstreaming are you focused on?

Close the Gap works on women’s labour market inequality, which includes policy advocacy and employer engagement. The Scottish-specific duties of the public sector equality duty (PSED) are a big focus for us as they require public bodies to mainstream gender across all of their functions. We are interested in how public bodies are using their gender pay gap, occupational segregation and employment data to do gender mainstreaming. This supports our work to advocate for a duty that delivers for women and has formed the basis for our employer guidance on PSED and the work we do to support individual public bodies to improve their compliance.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing to make gender mainstreaming happen, what would it be?

It is difficult to pick just one thing and there are really three things that have to work in concert in order for gender mainstreaming to happen. Firstly, public bodies need support to develop their understanding of gender inequality and how this relates to the work they do. Without this it’s difficult to develop good quality solutions. Secondly, we need to see real accountability for public bodies to ensure gender mainstreaming is done – and done well. Thirdly, we need leadership at the most senior levels of public bodies that makes clear gender mainstreaming is a core part of their work as public service providers, employers, and in their other roles.

Where can people find out more about your work on mainstreaming?

A good place to start would be our assessments of public bodies’ performance of the duties – here and here. Public sector employers (and PSED geeks) will find our guidance helpful in developing their work on gender mainstreaming and the duties in general – this can be found here. Gender mainstreaming is woven throughout our work – there’s plenty of other content to be found on our website.

Guest posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Engender, and all language used is the author's own. Bloggers have received some editorial support from Engender, and may have received a fee from our commissioning pot. We aim for our blog to reflect a range of feminist viewpoints, and offer a commissioning pot to ensure that women do not have to offer their time or words for free.

Interested in writing for the Engender blog? Find out more here.

Share this post on …

Comments: 0 (Add)

You must be signed in to post a comment. If you're already a member, please sign in now.


What Works for Women: improving gender mainstreaming in ScotlandWhat Works for Women: improving gender mainstreaming in Scotland Gender mainstreaming is a strategic approach to tackling systemic gender inequality.

Become a member


Sign up to receive our newsletter here:

Sign up to our mailing list

Receive key feminist updates direct to your inbox: