The labour market
Women in Scotland earn less than men, and are more likely than men to be in part-time or precarious work. The pay gap in Scotland currently sits at 10.4%. Disabled women and some groups of BME women are more likely to be underemployed and experience higher pay gaps than white women.
Occupational segregation and stereotyping means that women are more likely than men to work as cleaners, as carers, in catering, clerical and retail jobs – all roles which are undervalued by society and generally lower paid.
Women are persistently and routinely discriminated against when they are pregnant and when they return from maternity leave. Disabled women, BME women and LGBTI+ women are more likely to report higher levels of discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace.
Jun 15, 2023: We welcome the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government’s call for evidence on the National Performance Framework National Outcomes (NPF). As the NPF is used to guide the policy aims and spending decisions of national government and local authorities, it is vital that improvements are made to ensure it reflects the daily realities of women’s and girls’ lives.
Date of publication: June 2023.mainstreaming, faireconomy, labourmarket
Blog – Apr 4, 2023arts cost of living employment media
Apr 20, 2022: Engender's new report Enough is Enough: Tackling Workplace Sexual Harassment in Scotland sets out the extent and nature of sexual and sexist workplace harassment and the impact it has on women in Scotland and highlights the need to reframe this as an issue of women’s equality that is rooted in sexism and sits within the spectrum of violence against women and girls. The report makes recommendations for action on sexual and sexist harassment in the workplace for Scottish Government and other bodies covering: prevention, reporting, investigation and decision-making, employment tribunals, and regulating sexual harassment.
This report is the result of a 2-year project which included convening an expert group of academics, lawyers, violence against women practitioners and employment law specialists, as well as conducting research and focus groups with women who have experienced sexual and sexist harassment. This work is part of a wider project in Scotland with Close the Gap who are doing related but separate work to build capacity in employers. The work was funded by Rosa, the UK fund for women and girls, as part of a four-nations project on sexual harassment.sexualharassment vaw employment
Apr 20, 2022: This report provides a literature review relating to the use of anonymous reporting of sexual harassment within the UK. The focus is on workplaces but, where appropriate, other settings such as the university sector in its role as an education provider, are also considered. Although the review is primarily concerned with developments within the UK, the practice of anonymous reporting is relatively new and so other countries’ experiences are also reviewed in order to explore what we can learn in terms of good and best practice. The materials on which this review is based were widely drawn from a range of sources including academic research, organisational and grey literature drawing on both online and print resources.
Date of publication: April 2022.sexualharassment vaw employment
Nov 12, 2021: This briefing looks at the impacts of Covid-19 on young women’s employment, financial security, and mental health in Scotland. It uses data from a joint survey on young women developed by Close the Gap, Engender, the UK Women’s Budget Group, Fawcett Society, Women’s Equality Network Wales, and Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group.
This paper analyses survey data gathered from 501 young people aged 18 to 30 in Scotland and a booster sample of 266 Black and minority ethnic (BME) young people. Key findings reinforce evidence, gathered over the course of the pandemic, that young women have been particularly affected by rising financial precarity and anxiety as a result of the ongoing crisis. The findings also align with evidence from previous crises which indicates that economic downturns tend to have particularly detrimental effects on younger workers.
Date of publication: November 2021covid-19 youngwomen employment
Nov 2, 2021: This is a briefing for MSPs ahead of the Member's Business Session on Improving Support and Ending the Stigma of the Menopause. Despite recent progress there remains a chronic stigma, imbued with sexism and ageism, and a lack of knowledge and public awareness around the menopause which prevents health professionals and society from adequately supporting menopausal women. There is a need for comprehensive healthcare training and services, while more workplace policies could be a simple action to improve conditions for menopausal women in Scotland.
Date of publication: November 2021.menopause health employment
Engender Response to the Call for Views on the Aims and Principles of the Scottish COVID-19 Public Inquiry
Oct 8, 2021: Engender welcomes this opportunity to comment on the Aims and Principles paper that will shape Terms of Reference for Scotland’s Inquiry into Covid-19. Over the past eighteen months we have undertaken extensive work on the impact of the pandemic and of public policy responses on different groups of women and on structural gender inequality. We have seen a widely recognised rollback on women’s rights and equality in terms of health, care, financial security, employment, violence against women and housing. Within this, specific issues and even deeper impacts have manifested for Black and minoritised women, young women, disabled women, unpaid carers, mothers, pregnant women, LGBTI women, and women with insecure immigration status, amongst other groups who experience intersecting forms of oppression and discrimination. The extent of these gendered impacts and the long-term implications for women and girls are as yet unknown.
Date of publication: October 2021.covid19 labourmarket faireconomy health
Blog – Sep 6, 2021employment genderpaygap sexualharassment
Blog – Apr 22, 2021employment genderpaygap sexualharassment
Engender and Close the Gap Joint briefing on the impact of COVID-19 on women with childcare responsibilities in Scotland
Mar 17, 2021: This briefing looks at the implications of the COVID-19 crisis on women with childcare responsibilities in Scotland specifically by analysing survey data gathered from 721 parents in Scotland. The survey data reinforces pre-existing evidence that women’s employment has been disproportionately impacted by additional caring responsibilities over the course of the crisis, and women have been particularly affected by rising financial precarity and anxiety as a result of the social and economic consequences of the crisis. The data also highlights that Black and minority ethnic (BME) women and disabled women have been particularly impacted by the social, economic, and labour market implications of the pandemic.
Date of publication: March 2021.care covid19 childcare employment
Engender response to Mark Griffin MSP’s consultation on a Proposed Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council Bill
Feb 5, 2021: Engender welcomes this opportunity to respond to Mark Griffin MSP’s consultation on Proposals for a Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council Bill. We have kept our comments to four broad themes – the changing nature of workplace risk, the need for and characteristics of a Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council (SEIAC), gender and health, and the additional concern that Covid-19 places on women’s health and the nature of work.
Date of publication: February 2021.socialsecurity employment covid19
Engender Briefing to the Women’s Health Plan: What Do Women Experiencing the Menopause in Scotland Need?
Dec 16, 2020: In 2020, the Women’s Health Plan was established with a remit of raising awareness around women’s health; improving access to healthcare for women across the life course and reducing inequalities in health outcomes for girls and women, including gender-based inequalities both for sex-specific conditions and in women’s general health. Menopause is one of the intitial priorities for this work.
Engender has produced this briefing to provide the Women’s Health Plan with evidence from our survey of nearly 400 women as part of a research project looking at women’s needs during the menopause and exisiting public policy. We also outline our additional analysis of the research findings and make recommendations for further policy development.
Date of publication: December 2020.menopause health employment
Blog – Dec 1, 2020genderpaygap guestblog mainstreaming psed
Engender response to the Commission on Social Justice and Fairness consultation on Discussion Paper 2: Reform of Social Care
Oct 23, 2020: Engender welcomes this opportunity to comment on the discussion paper put forward by the Commission on Social Justice and Fairness. We believe that reform to care services must start from understanding the effects of low pay, undervaluation and low investment from a gender perspective before it develops effective solutions. We do not consider ourselves best placed to comment on the detail of proposed reforms to the delivery of social care in Scotland nor to conclude at this stage whether a national care service could be all or part of the solution. We have therefore approached this consultation with the aim of highlighting the significant gendered considerations that must underpin any reforms.
Date of publication: October 2020.care faireconomy genderpaygap
Engender and Close The Gap joint response to the Scottish Government’s Proposal to Set Missions for the Scottish National Investment Bank
Oct 13, 2020: Close the Gap and Engender have been engaged in the development of the Scottish National Investment Bank for nearly three years. During that time we have worked with Scottish Government and MSPs to ensure the inclusion of important provisions which require the Bank to mainstream gender equality into all of its functions alongside accountability mechanisms to ensure the Bank prioritises equality in its lending and employment policies.
Based on the proposal document and consultation questions, we are unclear as to how the missions will further women’s equality in Scotland nor how the need to address women’s inequality was integrated into design of the proposed missions.
Date of publication: October 2020.snib faireconomy genderpaygap climatechange
Engender and Close The Gap Joint Response to the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee’s inquiry into the Scottish National Investment Bank’s Draft Missions
Sep 17, 2020: Close the Gap and Engender have been engaged in the development of the Scottish National Investment Bank, and we have welcomed the establishment of the Bank as it holds enormous potential to tackle women’s economic inequality.
This joint response concerns the contents of the Proposal to Set Missions for the Scottish National Investment Bank and the dearth of information pertaining to gender equality and both Ministers’ and the Bank’s equality obligations. Based on the proposal document and consultation questions, we are unclear as to how the missions will further women’s equality in Scotland nor how the need to address women’s inequality was integrated into design of the proposed missions.
Date of publication: September 2020.snib faireconomy genderpaygap employment
Aug 19, 2020: This is a response to the Scottish Labour Party consultation "Time to Care About Care".
Engender believes that there is an important conversation to be had about the future and long-term provision of a social care system that is genuinely universal and equitable and meets individual needs. Gender cannot be excluded from this work, and there is a need to consider how revaluation of care work and skills can deliver better conditions for people, mainly women, who provide care, both paid and unpaid.
Date of publication: August 2020.care faireconomy employment genderpaygap
Aug 12, 2020: This is an Engender briefing for MSPs ahead of the Scottish Government debate on an Implementation Plan for Economic Recovery on 11th Agust 2020. Over the past six months Engender has sought to highlight the multitude of ways in which Covid-19 and our response to it will impact on women’s lives, rights and equality with men. We are especially cognisant of the mounting evidence around women’s rising economic inequality due to the pandemic and national and devolved response planning.
This parliamentary briefing calls on Scottish Government to go further to ensure that economic recovery also closes the gap between women and men. We urge Scottish Government to scale up its ambition and the necessary action to deliver a meaningful economic (and social) recovery for women that not only responds to the threat of deeper inequality as a result of Covid-19 but actively realises women’s economic rights and revalues women’s work.
Date of publication: August 2020.genderpaygap covid19 faireconomy care education employment
Blog – Mar 13, 2020employment guestblog health intersectionality race
Blog – Mar 8, 2020care childcare genderpaygap iwd makingworkvisible
Feb 14, 2020: This document is a response to the Social Security Scotland Draft Equality Outcomes consultation. We are concerned that the draft outcomes put forward in this consultation do not take sufficient cognisance of women’s experiences and lives and are therefore insufficiently targeted to address inequalities in access to social security in Scotland.
Date of publication: February 2020.socialsecurity genderpaygap faireconomy
GUEST POST: New legislation puts gender equality at the heart of the Scottish National Investment Bank
Blog – Jan 28, 2020faireconomy genderpaygap guestblog snib
Joint Close the Gap and Engender Briefing on Proposed Stage 3 Amendments to the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill
Jan 21, 2020: Ahead of the Scottish Parliament Stage 3 proceedings of the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill, we have joined with Close the Gap to publish a briefing outlining some key amendments that will enable the Bank to fulfil its potential with regards to gender equality.
Date of publication: January 2020.snib faireconomy genderpaygap
Oct 30, 2019: This is a briefing ahead of the Scottish Parliament Member's Business Debate on Charities, Scotland and Holyrood on 30th October 2019. Scotland has a thriving and politically engaged women’s sector, comprising organisations that work both independently and collectively to call for substantive changes in policy and practice to advance women’s rights and equality. This briefing highlights just some of the major successes of our campaigning and advocacy work since the Scottish Parliament’s establishment.
Date of publication: October 2019.engendernews politics genderpaygap equalrepresentation cedaw
Oct 29, 2019: This document is Engender's response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on its National Transport Strategy. The use of Scotland’s transport systems is highly gendered. Women are the majority of public transport users, and the minority of drivers and cyclists. Women also tend to make more complex and frequent journeys due to caring responsibilities and working patterns. Scotland’s current transport systems, however, do not reﬂect the different needs of women.
Date of publication: October 2019.transport genderpaygap socialsecurity publicspace
Engender submission of evidence to the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee Call for Evidence on the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill
May 6, 2019: Engender welcomes this opportunity to provide evidence to the Committee in relation to the Scottish National Investment Bank Draft Bill. We believe that the National Investment Bank (the Bank) can make a substantive impact on women’s equality, provided that it can translate Scotland’s ambitions for inclusive growth into gender-competent strategy and execution. There is now a wealth of international evidence that gender equality is a necessary precursor to economic growth, and Scotland’s economic strategy restates this. However, if the Bank is to address the structural issues underlying women’s economic inequality it must integrate gender equality into every element of its organisation and work.
Date of publication: May 2019.faireconomy genderpaygap labourmarket mainstreaming womensrights
Apr 2, 2019: From 15 May 2019, new changes will be introduced which will require couples where one partner has reached state pension age and one has not (‘mixed age couples’) to claim universal credit (UC) instead of Pension Credit. Engender is concerned that the rule changes have attracted little attention and no gender analysis.
Date of publication: April 2019.age employment employability faireconomy labourmarket poverty womensrights
Blog – Mar 14, 2019faireconomy genderpaygap womensrights
Blog – Feb 1, 2019equalrepresentation labourmarket politics
Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee Call for Evidence on the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill
Jan 7, 2019: Engender is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee’s Call for Evidence as part of its Stage 1 consideration of the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill. We believe the creation of a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency (SoSE) brings with it opportunities to change the way that economic development is led in the region and shape an economy that works for both women and men, and that advances women’s equality.
Date of publication: January 2019.faireconomy labourmarket genderpaygap
Engender Response to the Scottish Government consultation on a Scottish National Investment Bank Bill
Oct 31, 2018: Engender welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation on the Scottish National Investment Bank, which focuses on the proposed objectives, purpose and governance in the anticipated Bill. Scotland’s National Investment Bank should be instrumental in shaping an economy that works for women and men, and that advances women’s equality instead of entrenching gender inequality.
Date of publication: October 2018.faireconomy feministeconomics genderpaygap
Blog – Oct 22, 2018care employment engendernews equalpay
Blog – Oct 5, 2018equalrepresentation genderpaygap politics
Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Economy Jobs and Fair Work Committee Debate on the Gender Pay Gap October 2017
Oct 3, 2017: Engender commends the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee on No Small Change: The economic potential of closing the pay gap. This is a bold, ambitious, and strategic response to the persistent inequalities that exist in education, training, care, and employment and are indicated by the gender pay gap.
Date of publication: October 2017.genderpaygap equalpay
Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee Inquiry into the Gender Pay Gap
Mar 10, 2017: Engender welcomes this inquiry, and particularly that this work is being undertaken by the Economy, Jobs, and Fair Work Committee. The Equal Opportunities Committee, now the Equality and Human Rights Committee, has explored the question of gendered inequalities in the labour market in many different spaces, including during its scrutiny of the Budget, but the pay gap must properly be understood as an economic issue as well as an issue of equality.
Date of publication: March 2017.feministeconomics equalpay genderpaygap
Blog – Nov 22, 2016employment equalpay guestblog
Blog – Aug 24, 2016employment equalpay genderpaygap media
Jun 29, 2016: A parliamentary briefing ahead of the debate on Women and the workplace in the Scottish Parliament on June 29th.
Date of publication: June 2016.employment employability labourmarket
Apr 14, 2016: This paper represents Engender’s ﬁrst thoughts on the challenge of gendering employability. It sets out the gendered context in which employability policy and programmes must operate. It brieﬂy describes the ways in which women’s experiences of the labour market, of education and skills, and of social security are different. It then raises some speciﬁc issues about how employability work in Scotland is developing, before ﬁnally making some recommendations on how this could be better gendered.
Date of publication: March 2016.employability labourmarket
Guest Post: Gender Equality and the legal profession. What is being done in Scotland to create a balance?
Blog – Apr 4, 2016employment genderpaygap guestblog
Engender Calls for a Gender Equality in Business Scheme to promote women’s equality in the workplace
Blog – Feb 19, 2016employment holyrood2016
Engender Response to the Scottish Government Consultation on the Introduction of Diversity Succession Planning for Board Appointments and the Lowering of the Threshold for Publishing Gender Pay Gap and Equal Pay Statements
Nov 30, 2015: Engender's response to the Scottish Government consultation on the introduction of diversity succession planning for board appointments and the lowering of the threshold for publishing gender pay gap and equal pay statements.
Date of publication: November 2015.psed equalrepresentation quotas publiclife genderpaygap equalpay
Blog – Oct 21, 2015cpw devolution employment poverty
Jul 16, 2015: Engender's submission to the Equal Opportunities Committee inquiry on race, ethnicity and employment. Women’s disadvantage within the labour market is a key manifestation of gender inequality. Within this, women from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities face particular discrimination and challenges in accessing paid work.
Date of publication: July 2015.race employment employability equality womensrights
Blog – May 11, 2015employment equalpay guestblog sexism
Guest Post: Women at the heart of decision making: How women’s goals and ambitions can shape and create better public policy
Blog – Mar 11, 2015care employment guestblog
Blog – Sep 4, 2014employment guestblog indyref labourmarket socialsecurity
Aug 20, 2014: A briefing paper for MSPs in advance of the Scottish Government debate on increasing opportunities for women in the Scottish Parliament on 20 August 2014.
Date of publication: August 2014.equalrepresentation employability employment labourmarket feministeconomics publiclife
Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Education and Culture Committee Call for Evidence on Scotland’s Educational and Cultural Future
Jul 30, 2014: Engender's response to the Scottish Parliament Education and Culture Committee call for written evidence on Scotland's Educational and Cultural Future. Our submission mainly focuses on childcare provision, as well as youth employment.
Date of publication: March 2014.childcare employment
Jul 24, 2014: This briefing is part of a series that sets out how power and responsibility to tackle critical gender equality issues are divided between Holyrood and Westminster. It is part of Engender’s contribution to the independence referendum debate.
Date of publication: July 2014.indyref employment employability labourmarket
Blog – Jul 24, 2014employment indyref labourmarket womensrights
Mar 5, 2014: Women in Scotland calendar 2012: monthly facts and stats on women's inequality.
Date of publication: January 2012.equality womensrights international publiclife politics genderpaygap care socialcare socialsecurity childcare vawg
Mar 5, 2014: A pocket guide to gender inequality across political life in Scotland.
Date of publication: 2010.politics poverty genderpaygap publiclife vawg austerity
Mar 5, 2014: A summary and discussion of the implications of data from the Gender Audit
of Statistics [Breitenbach,E. and Wasoff, F. Scottish Executive Social Research 2007] relating to care and caring prepared by S. Macpherson, Engender Associate and E. Thomson.
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