Gender Pay Gap


About the Inquiry

The Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee held an inquiry into the gender pay gap. The inquiry focused on the following areas:

  • how we define and measure the gender pay gap 
  • the gender pay gap in Scotland's sectors 
  • Scottish Government action that is being taken, and can be taken, to reduce the gender pay gap 

The remit for the inquiry was:

To explore the effect of the gender pay gap on the Scottish economy, with a particular focus on business performance, the Scottish public sector and Scottish Government action required to address the issue.


The inquiry call for views closed on 10 March 2017 (more information below).

Evidence sessions were held on:

  • 7 March 2017
  • 14 March 2017
  • 28 March 2017
  • 18 April 2017
  • 25 April 2017
  • 2 May 2017

The Committee published its report on 26 June 2017. 

No Small Change: The Economic Potential of Closing the Gender Pay Gap


The Committee issued its call for views on 15 December 2016. The closing date for submissions was Friday 10 March 2017. 

Read the call for views

Read the Written Submissions and Notes of Committee Visits

From 1-10 March 2017, we asked people to send us their answers on twitter to the question, "Ending the Gender Pay Gap matters because...". Submissions received are available on Storify.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

The Committee held its introductory evidence session. The Committee took evidence from:

  • Anna Ritchie Allan, Close the Gap;
  • Emma Ritch, Executive Director, Engender;
  • Chris Oswald, Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland.
  • Professor Patricia Findlay, Fair Work Convention;
  • Professor Wendy Loretto, University of Edinburgh Business School;
  • Emily Thomson, Women in Scotland's Economy (WiSE Research Centre), Glasgow Caledonian University;
  • Dr Irina Merkurieva, University of St Andrews;
  • Professor Fiona Wilson, Adam Smith Business School, The University of Glasgow;
  • Professor Ian Wall, Chair, STEMEC (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Committee).

Tuesday 14 March 2017

The Committee took evidence on Education and Skills and the Financial Sector:

  • Talat Yaqoob, Director, Equate Scotland
  • Tanya Castell, Non Executive Director and CEO, Changing the Chemistry
  • Shona Struthers, Chief Executive, Colleges Scotland
  • Katie Hutton, Director, National Training Programmes, Skills Development Scotland
  • Professor Gillian Hogg, Deputy Principal (External Relations), Heriot-Watt University, Universities Scotland
  • Tricia Nelson, Partner, EY
  • Debbie Crosbie, Chief Operating Officer and an Executive Director, Clydesdale Bank
  • Gillian MacLellan, Partner, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP
  • Debbie Miller, Inclusion Manager, Royal Bank of Scotland 

Tuesday 28 March 2017

The Committee took evidence from large private and public sector employers:

  • Shirley Campbell, Director for People, Scottish Water
  • Rosie MacRae, Head of Inclusion and Diversity, SSE
  • Megan Horsburgh, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Sodexo UK & Ireland
  • Catriona Mackie, HR Director, Diageo Global Supply, Diageo
  • Katy Miller, Head of Human Resources, City of Edinburgh Council, COSLA
  • Peter Reekie, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Investments, Scottish Futures Trust
  • Nicky Page, Head of People Management, Police Scotland
  • Ian Reid, Director of Human Resources, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Diane Vincent, Director of People and Organisational Development, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Tuesday 18 April 2017

The Committee took evidence from the Public Sector and from Professional Organisations:

  • Peter Hunter, Regional Manager, UNISON Scotland;
  • Cheryl Gedling, Industrial Officer, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS);
  • Ann Henderson, Assistant Secretary, STUC;
  • Richard Hardy, National Secretary, Prospect;
  • Val Dougan, Equality and Diversity Committee, Law Society of Scotland;
  • Kevin Burnett C. Eng, MICE, MIStructE, President, Aberdeen Association of Civil Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland;
  • Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care;
  • Professor Catriona Paisey, Professor of Accounting at Glasgow University, member of the ICAS Council and Ethics Board, ICAS. 

Tuesday 25 April 2017

The Committee took evidence from Economists and Business and Employer Organisations.

Professor David Bell, University of Stirling
Professor of Economics, and Dr Tanya Wilson, Early Career Fellow, University of Stirling;
Emma Gibbs, Partner, McKinsey & Company;

Charles Cotton, Policy Adviser, Pay and Reward, CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development);
Maggie Morrison, Vice President, Public Sector, CGI Scotland, Board Member, Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Tuesday 2 May 2017

The Committee took evidence from the Enterprise Agencies and Scottish Government Ministers.

Linda Murray, Head of Strategy, Scottish Enterprise;
Carroll Buxton, Director of Regional Development, Highlands and Islands Enterprise;
Lynne Cadenhead, Chairman, Women's Enterprise Scotland, and
Elma Murray, Chief Executive of North Ayrshire Council, Member, Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Employability and Training
Lorraine Lee, Senior Policy Executive, Fair Work Directorate,
Emma Congreve, Economic Adviser, Housing and Social Justice Directorate, Scottish Government.

Visits and Events

In April 2017 the Committee made a number of visits.

To go along with the Gender Pay Gap report the Committee produced a number of case studies.


The Committee wrote to CBI Scotland, Education Scotland, FSB Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.

The Scottish Government provided the following information:


The Committee published its report on 26 June 2017.

On 5 July 2017, the Minister for Employability and Training wrote to the Committee acknowledging receipt and confirming that he would respond by 21 August.

The Scottish Government responded to the report on 29 August 2017.

The Scottish Government provided a slightly revised response on 3 October 2017.

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body responded on 26 October 2017.

On 19 October 2017 the Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary on the Gender Pay Gap and Women in Enterprise.

On 7 December 2017 the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work replied, providing further information on Scottish Government spend allocated to the Women in Enterprise Framework and on tackling the gender pay gap.

On 17 September 2018, the Committee wrote to the Enterprise agencies seeking a response to its report.

On 8 March 2019 the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills wrote to the Committee to inform it of the launch of A Fairer Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan. 

On 6 February 2020, the Committee wrote to the Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills seeking an update from the Government. The Minister responded on 27 February 2020.


The Committee's report was debated in the Chamber on 4 October 2017.


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