Women working at the Scottish Parliament are paid significantly less than men, according to figures which reveal that the gender pay gap extends to the seat of the nation’s government.
The statistics, published for the first time as part of efforts to close the gap, show that the average woman’s salary at the Parliament in Edinburgh is 11.1 per cent lower than the average man’s.
The Parliament is among a range of public, private and voluntary sector employers across the UK which have to publish the details of their gender pay gaps from March next year.
The figures show that the overall gross rate of pay for men working at Holyrood is £17.86 an hour, almost £2 an hour more than the £15.87 rate paid to women.
The imbalance is even more pronounced among part-time workers, with men being paid £20.26 an hour compared to £15.87 for women, giving a gender pay gap of 21.7 per cent.
“Put simply, we have more women than men in lower grades and more men than women in higher grades”Susan Duffy, Scottish Parliament
However, the gap at the Parliament is not as wide as the national figure, which according to ONS and Scottish Government data currently stands at 15.6 per cent.
Parliamentary authorities released a report alongside the figures saying that they wanted to close the gender pay gap to a “tolerance level” of plus or minus 5 per cent.
In a message to all staff at Holyrood, Parliament’s Leadership Group member Susan Duffy said: “We’ve always set out to be an exemplar as an employer and we have a range of progressive measures and policies in place that we’re rightly proud of.
“We have a robust pay system and we don’t have a bonus culture. Despite this, we still have a gender pay gap – why is that?
“Put simply, we have more women than men in lower grades and more men than women in higher grades, which means the average salary for women is lower.”
She said the new target would “not be easy” to achieve, but pledged to “take stock” of Parliament’s recruitment practices and examine whether women were properly represented on management groups.
The statistics were published as MSPs debated how the gender pay gap in Scotland could be closed. Labour has said a £10 “real living wage” would help to achieve parity, and is in favour of forcing companies to publish their pay ratios.
“There is so much more to do to shatter the glass ceiling for women,” said the party’s MSP Jackie Baillie. “If a company thinks a woman is worth a lower wage than a man, then Labour will force them to admit it.”
This story first appeared on iNews.