By Dane McBeth
Scotland has come out as the best area in the UK for workplace diversity in PricewaterhouseCooper’s annual Women In Work Index. Overall the United Kingdom moved up the table to 13th out of 33 countries involved in the analysis. However the report highlights that progress for women in the workplace is slow with an overall average gender pay gap of 15% between men and women.
Scotland’s comparatively impressive performance in relation to the rest of the country is being put down to “a high concentration of public sector jobs, both of which tend to have more balanced gender representation at all levels and hence smaller pay gaps.”
In Ayrshire, support organisation Ayrshire Women’s Hub helps women deal with the demands of childcare by offering drop-in creche services and linking people to employment opportunities. Founder Angie-Leigh Pike isn’t surprised by the results released by PwC and has seen a change in the way job roles traditionally associated with men are viewed.
“We see more women studying towards what would be classed as a male role like engineering, that type of work, so we do actually see a slight difference in that and hopefully it’s something that will keep on changing as it goes through time. There is a definite shift.”
According to the index, women are still “under-represented in corporate leadership.” Break The Silence is a domestic abuse support charity which employs a predominantly female workforce with the chief executive and vast majority of board members being women.
Lesley Craig, head of income generation, thinks this balance and utilising women in senior positions has been a positive for the organisation allowing them to provide a good quality of service to victims.
“Our whole senior management team are women” she said “very highly qualified people with a diverse range of skills that really help lead the organisation.”