Gender Equality Report shows general improvement in equal pay gaps

A report to the Resources Committee on 25 February showed an improving picture for gender pay gaps in Highland Council employment.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average male and female pay rates.  An Equal Pay Audit was carried out with Trade Unions in 2013. Since the findings of this audit, a number of actions have been taken to address gender segregation and the availability of part time work in senior grades.

Significant work is underway to review and further promote flexible working arrangements that support women to progress their careers. Female role models in male dominated job groups have been identified and achievements publicised.

Figures from the 2015 audit show an improvement in the combined gap for all employees, across full time and part time.

The Council has also taken specific actions to reduce the pay gap for women in management positions by creating on-line learning resources and improving the Women into Management programme. To date 114 female staff have attended the programme which includes confidence building and career development.

Since these measures have been in place, the combined pay gap relating to Management employees has reduced by 29% and the combined pay gap relating to Head and Depute Teachers has reduced by 28%. During the same period, the percentage of female employees in the top 5% of earners has increased from 54% to 57%.

Chair of resources Committee, Councillor Maxine Smith said: “Significant improvements have been made since the first Equal Pay Audit and it is important that we continue to close the pay gap between men and women.  It is becoming more challenging due to the financial situation resulting in a shrinking workforce and fewer opportunities available. However, we must demonstrate that we place equal value on our female workforce and ensure that there is no glass ceiling in Highland Council for women.”


26 Feb 2015