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Close the Gap

Partnership information


What the century?Aim

The aim of the Close the Gap DP was to close the gap between the pay of men and women in SMEs in Scotland by:
  • enabling employers to carry out pay audits

  • encouraging effective action plan to be developed

  • engaging unions in making equal pay a priority

  • empowering women to challenge pay discrimination.


Close the Gap is a partnership project that brings together Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Equal Opportunities Commission, Fair Play, UHI and the Executive. Although the EOC was the lead partner, the STUC ran much of the DP wide activity. The other partners were more involved in delivery. The trade unions involved delivered improved training and awareness to their members, and Scottish Enterprise and UHI created new training and university modules respectively. The entire DP has now been mainstreamed, with funding coming from the Scottish Executive.

Target Beneficiary groups

The high level activity had two target groups:
  • Employers and Development Agencies (Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise). These were capacity building exercises, working with Careers Scotland and Business Enterprise. The aim was to sell the business benefits of closing the pay gap to employers. This work was targeted at SMEs.

  • EmployeesThis work was mainly carried out through the trade unions. The DP increased training for workplace union reps to deal with issues around the pay gap. They also held a number of conferences to highlight these issues. As part of the employees programme, an outdoor advertising campaign was conducted. This involved large scale use of advertising boards, and was accompanied by a mail out to all SMEs making them aware of the campaign. The campaign was predominantly targetted at employees, to raise awareness of the gap.



Transnational partnerships


Emma Ritch, Scottish Trades Union Congress,

Equal theme

Gender equality


Employed in SMEs

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