Roseanna Cunningham hails fall in gender pay gap

The gender pay gap has fallen faster in Scotland than it has in the UK, according to new figures.

The difference between the full-time median earnings of men and women fell by one fifth of a percentage point in the UK while in Scotland the drop was 1.8 percentage points.

The gender pay gap in Scotland now stands at 7.3%, according to the Office for National Statistics, while in the UK it 9.4%.

Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "This is very welcome news and demonstrates the progress Scotland is making in closing the gender pay gap, particularly when compared to the rest of the UK.

"The narrowing of the gap in Scotland has also played a significant part in the overall UK improvement."

Ms Cunningham said the number of women in work in Scotland is "also at record levels" as she stressed: "While the gender pay gap is lower than the rest of the UK, we realise there is more work to do.

"The pay gap is still too wide and while we have more women in work, they are much more likely to be in lower-paid work, often without the stability and assurance that their job is secure.

"We want a workforce that properly reflects our society and for this work to start right at the top.

"We are therefore encouraging companies, third-sector organisations and public-sector bodies across the country to make a commitment that by 2020, 50% of their board members will be women."