Race Equality – What we already know


Race Equality

Summary

 

A slightly higher proportion of women than men identified as white in the 2011 Census, and a higher proportion of younger people were minority ethnic, compared to those in older age groups. White women, ‘Caribbean or Black’ women and those from ‘mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ have slightly higher rates of disability among younger age groups, while ‘Asian’ women and those from ‘other ethnic groups’ were more likely to be disabled amongst those aged 50+.

 

Young white women (aged 16-24) were least likely to be students in 2011. ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’ women were the least qualified overall, followed by ‘White Scottish’ women and ‘Pakistani’ women. Women are less likely to be employed if they are minority ethnic. ‘Bangladeshi’ women were by far the most likely to be working part-time in 2011, and those whose ethnicity was ‘White: Other’, ‘White Polish’ or ‘Chinese’ were most likely to be working 38 hours or more a week. ‘Asian’ women were most likely to be working as a ‘Manager, Director and Senior Official’, white women were the most likely to be working in administrative or secretarial occupations, and ‘African’ women were by far the most likely to be working in caring, leisure and other service occupations.

 

All graphs and tables can be found in the PDF here.

 

Key Figures

·         More than eight in ten (84%) of Scotland’s population were ‘White Scottish’, 8% ‘White other British’ and 8% minority ethnic (white non-British and non-white ethnicities) in 2011.

·         Half of Gypsy/Traveller women had no qualifications in 2011, far higher than any other ethnicity.

·         The proportion of female enrolments at Scottish colleges in 2016-17 was highest for ‘Asian’ (51% female) and ‘White: other’ (61%) students. The lowest proportion was seen with ‘black’ students (44% female).

·         A low proportion (16%) of Gyspy/Traveller women were educated to degree level in 2011, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of ‘White Scottish’ women. Indian women had the highest proportion of degree holders (or equivalent), at 62%.

·         The minority ethnic employment gap (the difference between the employment rate for white people and for visible ethnic minority people) was 26.8 percentage points for women in 2018, compared to 11.2 percentage points for men.

·         There are no female MSPs or Scottish MPs of visible minority ethnicities.

 

CONTENTS

Introduction

  1. Population

                  1.1 Ethnicity and age

                        1.2 Ethnicity and disability

                        1.3 Ethnicity and religion

                        1.4 Ethnicity and unpaid carers

  1. Education

                  2.1 Participation

                  2.2 Highest level of qualification

                  2.3 Early Learning and Childcare

                  2.4 Schools

                  2.5 Modern Apprenticeships

                  2.6 Further and Higher Education

                  2.7 STEM

  1. Employment

                  3.1 Employment among older women

                  3.2 Hours worked

                  3.3 Occupation

                  3.4 Industry

                  3.5 SMEs

  1. Housing and poverty

                  4.1 Poverty

            4.2 Pay

            4.3 Housing

  1. Health 
  1. Physical activity
  1. Public participation and engagement
  1. Community cohesion and safety

 

Introduction

This paper offers an overview of current evidence about race equality in Scotland, from a gendered perspective. It is a summary overview, and is intended to be accessible for anyone regardless of whether or not they have existing knowledge about this area.

 

Race is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010. The Act states that ‘race includes:

(a) colour;

(b) nationality;

(c) ethnic or national origins.’[1]

 

Scotland’s Census and other national surveys that use the same core questions ask people about their ethnicity rather than their race. (The Census also asked people about their ‘national identity’ for the first time in 2011). This data is collected on the basis of self-identity. What ethnicity someone identifies as is a complicated and sensitive concept, and peoples’ concept of their ethnicity, and the way that they choose to express it, changes over time.[2]

 

These surveys categorise ethnicity into 6 high-level groups: ‘White’; ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’; ‘Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British’ groups; ‘African’ groups; ‘Caribbean or Black’ groups; and ‘Other’ ethnic groups (including Arab groups). An ‘other’ write-in box is always available for those who do not identify with the pre-determined tick boxes. ‘Asian, Asian Scottish, or Asian British’ has been shortened to ‘Asian’ throughout this paper, and the categories within have also been shortened e.g. ‘Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British’ to ‘Indian’, making it easier to read and allowing for smaller labels in the charts. ‘Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British’ has been shortened to ‘Arab’.

 

The term ‘minority ethnic’ refers to people whose ethnicity is different to the majority ethnicity in the population, and who often experience disadvantage and discrimination in certain areas of life as a result. ‘Visible minorities’ is a term used to describe anyone whose ethnicity is not white, while ‘non-visible minorities’ refers to people of a minority white group who also face disadvantage, such as ‘White Polish’ and ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’. We have considered these minority white groups as ethnic minorities where it is possible to do so in this report, but in some cases data is only broken down into the 6 high-level groups with all those of white ethnicity grouped together.

 

A note on data:

The relatively small minority ethnic proportion of the Scottish population means that the sample of minority ethnic respondents in national surveys are often too small to allow for data to be disaggregated by ethnicity, and almost always too small for data to be disaggregated by both gender and ethnicity. For example, there is no data from the Scottish Health Survey published by sex and ethnicity due to small sample sizes. This paper therefore primarily draws on Scotland’s Census and administrative data sources, which include data from all the people in a given group or population (such as all students in Scotland).

 

  1. Population

At the time of the last Census in 2011, 84% of Scotland’s population reported their ethnicity as ‘White Scottish’ and a further 8% as ‘White other British’. Together, visible minority ethnic groups and white non-British groups (which include ‘White Irish’, ‘White Polish’, ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’ and ‘White: other’) made up 8% of the total population.[3]

 

The percentage of people in Scotland from non-white ethnic groups had doubled to 4% in 2011, up from 2% in 2001. More recent estimates put this figure at about 5% in 2018.[4] Scotland has a higher proportion of people of non-white ethnicities in its population than Wales (4%) or Northern Ireland (2%), but a lower proportion than in England (16%).[5] More recently, data from the Scottish Surveys Core Questions indicated that 77% of Scotland’s adult population was ‘White Scottish’ in 2017, 12% ‘White other British’, 3% Asian and 2% other non-white ethnicities. Two percent of the adult population were ‘White Polish’.[6]

 

The Asian population was the largest minority ethnic group in 2011 (2.7% of the population or 141,000 people), and had more than doubled from 2001. Within this, Pakistani was the largest individual category, accounting for 1% of Scotland’s population. The ‘African’ and ‘Caribbean or Black’ groups together made up 0.9% of the population of Scotland in 2011, an increase of 28,000 people since 2001. ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ represented 0.4% (20,000) and ‘Other ethnic groups’ 0.3% (14,000) of the total population. ‘White Polish’ people accounted for 1.2% of the population (61,000 people) and ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’ for 0.1% (4,000 people).

 

The proportion of the population reported as belonging to a visible (non-white) minority ethnic group varied by council area. The highest figures were in the four council areas containing the large cities: in Glasgow City it was 12%, in the City of Edinburgh and in Aberdeen City it was 8%, and in Dundee City it was 6%.

 

In 2011, of the 1.5 million households consisting of more than one person, 84% (1.3 million) contained members who shared the same ethnic group. The other 16% of households included multiple ethnic groups.

 

A slightly higher proportion of women than of men identified as ‘White’ in the 2011 Census – 96.3% of women compared to 95.8% of men. Slightly fewer women than men identified as:

  • ‘Asian’ (68,964 women or 2.5% of the female population, compared to 71,714 men or 2.8% of the male population)
  • ‘African’ (13,514 women or 0.5% of the female population, compared to 16,124 men or 0.6% of the male population)
  • ‘Caribbean or Black’ (3,145 women or 0.1% of the female population, compared to 3,3,95 men or 0.1% of the male population)
  • ‘Arab’ (3,973 women or 0.1% of the female population, compared to 5,393 men or 0.2% of the male population)

 

1.1 Ethnicity and age

A higher proportion of younger people are minority ethnic, compared to those in older age groups. All minority ethnic groups in Scotland had a younger age profile in 2011 than white UK groups. As the graph below shows, the highest proportion of visible minority ethnic girls and women are found among those aged 0-39, with a similar overall trend for boys and men. The higher proportion of visible minority ethnic people among ages 20-34 is likely to be due to people of this age coming to Scotland to work and study. The higher proportions of visible minority ethnic children among those aged 0-9 may well include the children of these people.

 

Graph 1: Visible (non-white) minority ethnic proportion of the   population, by age and gender, 2011 (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Graph 1: Visible (non-white) minority ethnic proportion of the population, by age and gender, 2011 (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: all data labels are for girls/women; data points for boys/men are for reference

 

The graph below presents an age profile of women and girls from different ethnic groups. It shows that those of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ have by far the highest proportion of girls aged 0-15, and almost two thirds of girls and women of this ethnicity are under 25. Around half of ‘White Polish’ and half of ‘African’ women in Scotland are aged 25-44. While a fifth (19.7%) of the female ‘White Scottish, other British and Irish’ population is aged 65+, no other ethnic group has more than 7% of women in this age range. There are particularly small proportions of ‘African’ women (1.4%) and ‘White Polish’ women (1.3%) in this age group.

 

Graph 2: Proportion of the female population which falls into different age groups, by ethnicity, 2011 (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

1.2 Ethnicity and disability

The sample in the Scottish Health Survey is too small to analyse disability by ethnicity (or ethnicity and gender). The 2011 Scottish Census, however, showed that women and girls of all ethnic groups other than ‘White’ were less likely than the average to report a disability, as the graph below shows.[7] A similar trend was observed for men.

 

Graph 3: Prevalence of limiting long-term conditions among women and girls, by ethnicity (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Graph 3: Prevalence of limiting long-term conditions among women and girls, by ethnicity (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

However, we know that the ‘White’ ethnic group typically has an older age profile than those in other ethnic groups, which affects the rates of disability when looking at women of all ages together (as above) since there is a higher rate of disability among older people.[8] In the graph below, we see that while ‘White’ women, ‘Caribbean or Black’ women and those from ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ have slightly higher rates of disability among younger age groups, ‘Asian’ women and those from ‘Other ethnic groups’ (the majority of whom are Arab) are more likely to be disabled amongst those aged 50+.

    

Graph 4: Prevalence of limiting long-term conditions among women and girls, by ethnicity and age (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Graph 4: Prevalence of limiting long-term conditions among women and girls, by ethnicity and age (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

1.3 Ethnicity and religion

‘White Scottish’ women were the most likely to say that their religion was Church of Scotland in 2011, while those whose ethnicity was ‘White: other’ were the most likely to be Roman Catholic and ‘African’ women were the most likely to be another Christian denomination.[9] ‘Asian’ women were most likely to be Buddhist or Hindu. Those of an ‘Other ethnic group’ (the majority of whom were Arab) were most likely to be Muslim. Overall, 34% of women and girls in Scotland said that they had no religion in 2011, but this varied significantly according to their ethnicity. Those of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ were most likely to say that they had no religion (44%) followed by those who were ‘White other British’ (not Scottish – 40%). ‘African’ women or those of ‘Other ethnic groups’ were least likely to say that they had no religion, at 6% and 13% respectively.

 

These trends were similar for men, although men were more likely than women to say that they had no religion among all ethnicities except ‘Asian’ and ‘Other ethnic groups’.

 

The vast majority of Hindu women in Scotland (95%) were ‘Asian’ in 2011, as were the majority of those who were Muslim (74%) and Buddhist (57%). The majority of those who were Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic and other Christian are ‘White Scottish’ (96%, 81% and 51% respectively). This means that there is often a close relationship between race inequality and inequality as a result of religion or belief.

 

1.4 Ethnicity and unpaid carers

 

The 2011 Census reported that 9% of the ‘White Scottish, other British or Irish’ population are carers compared to 5% of other ethnicities.[10] However, further work is needed to look at the age structure and health of different ethnic populations to see if that explains some or all of this difference.

  

  1. Education

2.1 Participation

In 2019, 84% of pupils at publicly funded schools and early learning and childcare provision in Scotland were recorded as being ‘White Scottish’ or ‘White other British’.[11] The largest other ethnic backgrounds include ‘White: other’ (5.6%), ‘Asian: Pakistani’ (2.0%) and ‘Mixed’ (1.4%). Note that ethnicity was not known or not disclosed for around 2% of pupils. Proportions were similar for both boys and girls.

 

Among young people aged 16-24, those who were ‘White’ were least likely to be classed as students in terms of their economic activity in 2011.[12] Note than ‘student’ falls under ‘economically inactive’ when asking about economic activity in the Census, but this means that students who are also working are not included within this count. Just a quarter of young white women were students and classed as economically inactive, compared to over half of young ‘Asian’ women and young women of ‘Other ethnic groups’ (the majority of whom identified as ‘Arab’). The proportion of young people of different ethnicities who were economically inactive students was broadly similar for men and women, with young ‘Asian’, ‘Caribbean or Black’ and ‘White’ women slightly more likely than their male counterparts to fall into this category, while there was a higher proportion of young men than young women students among those identifying as ‘African’, ‘Mixed or multiple ethnicities’ or ‘Other ethnic groups’.  

 

Graph 5: Proportion of those aged 16-24 classified as economically inactive and students, by gender and ethnicity, 2011 (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Graph 5: Proportion of those aged 16-24 classified as economically inactive and students, by gender and ethnicity, 2011 (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

As with other areas, we have data on many aspects of education and training which is broken down by gender and/or by ethnicity, but it is often not published broken down by both together. This means while we can see some of the differences between male and female students, for example, or between those of majority and minority ethnicities, it can be harder to understand how the two might intersect – such as the specific experiences of minority ethnic female students, and how these might differ from male minority ethnic students or female students of a majority ethnicity.

 

For example, the 2019 Annual Participation Measure shows that overall, young women aged 16-19 were slightly more likely (92%) than young men of the same age (91%) to be participating in education, employment or training and other development in 2019.[13] Within these figures, more women are participating in education (76.5%, compared to 66.7% of men), and more men are participating in employment (22%, compared to 14% of women).

 

The measure also shows that young people who were ‘Asian’, ‘African’, ‘Caribbean or Black’, of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnicities’ or of ‘Other ethnic groups’ were more likely to be participating (95%) than those who were ‘White’ (91%). Young people from ‘Mixed or multiple’, ‘Asian’, ‘African’, ‘Caribbean or Black’ and ‘Other’ ethnic groups participate in education at a higher rate than those from ‘White’ ethnic backgrounds: 87%, compared to 71%. Young people from ‘White’ ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be participating in employment: 19%, compared to 7% those from visible minority or multiple ethnic backgrounds. Young people from ‘Mixed or multiple’, ‘Asian’, ‘African’, ‘Caribbean or Black’ and ‘Other’ ethnic groups are less likely to be in employment, to be unemployed seeking, or to have an unconfirmed status.

 

2.2 Highest level of qualification

The proportions of women with different levels of qualification was similar among many ethnic groups in Scotland in 2011, with many of them showing between 10% and 20% of women with no qualifications and around 45% to 60% of women educated to degree level or equivalent (with the remainder falling somewhere in the middle). This can be seen in Graph 6. However, there were also some notable differences for some ethnic groups. ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’ women were the least qualified, followed by ‘White Scottish’ women and ‘Pakistani’ women. Half of Gypsy/Traveller women had no qualifications. Just 16% of Gypsy/Traveller women held degrees (or equivalent), along with 23% of ‘White Scottish’ women and 29% of ‘Pakistani’ women. ‘Indian’ women had the highest proportion of degree holders (or equivalent), at 62%.

 

Graph 6: Highest level of qualification among women aged 16+, by ethnic group (Scotland’s Census, 2011)[14]

Graph 6: Highest level of qualification among women aged 16+, by ethnic group (Scotland’s Census, 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

2.3 Early Learning and Childcare

The data currently collected through the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) census does not allow for measurement of uptake of ELC by ethnicity, however the new ELC census (to be in place from 2021) will collect information about a child’s ethnicity and allow for assessment of impact by ethnicity.[15]

 

There is evidence that some minority ethnic parents are more comfortable using ELC where there is a mix of cultures and ethnic backgrounds in the ELC setting. Comparing the ELC workforce demographic data with data from the 2011 Scotland population Census indicates that a number of minority ethnic groups are underrepresented in the ELC workforce. However, around 10% of those responding to the Care Inspectorate annual return do not provide their ethnicity, making it difficult to be precise about whether minority ethnic communities are proportionately represented in the workforce.[16]

 

2.4 Schools

Higher proportions of girls than boys at primary school achieved the expected standard across early, first and second levels in 2018-19 and across reading, writing, listening and talking, and numeracy.[17] There was variation across ethnic groups, with generally similar or slightly lower proportions of ‘Asian: Pakistani’, ‘Asian: other’ and ‘White: non-Scottish’ pupils achieving the expected standards at primary school compared to ‘White: Scottish’ pupils. Higher proportions of pupils of ‘Asian: Indian’, ‘Asian: Chinese’ and ‘Mixed or multiple’ ethnic groups achieved the expected standards overall compared to ‘White: Scottish’ pupils. ‘African/Black/Caribbean’ pupils performed slightly better than those of ‘White: Scottish’ ethnicity in most areas from Primary 4 onwards. Breakdowns by both gender and ethnicity were not provided.

 

A higher proportion of female than male school leavers left with one or more passes at SCQF Level 6 or better in 2018-19 (67% vs 55%), and a lower proportion of ‘White Scottish’ school leavers (60%) compared to those of all other ethnic groups.[18] Those of ‘African/Black/Caribbean’ or ‘Asian’ ethnicities had the highest proportions of school leavers with one or more passes at SCQF Level 6 or better, with ‘Asian: Chinese’ showing the proportion reaching this attainment level, at 92%.

 

Only 10% of ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ school leavers achieved five or more qualifications at SCQF Level 5 over 2014-15 to 2015-16 (2 year average).[19] This falls far below the average, with 56% of all school leavers achieving five or more qualifications at SCQF Level 5 or above in 2015-16.

 

A Girlguiding survey found that 8% of the girls aged 7-10 who responded from across the UK and 10% of those aged 11-21 had been bullied because of their ethnicity or religion.[20] It should be noted that respondents were not randomly sampled and so it cannot be assumed that they were representative of all girls and young women across the UK.

 

A slightly higher proportion of female 2018-19 school leavers than male school leavers were in a positive initial destination in September 2019 (96% vs 94%).[21] A lower proportion of ‘White Scottish’ school leavers were in a positive initial destination (95%) than those of all other ethnic groups except those of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ (94%). Those who identified as ‘Asian: Pakistani’ and ‘Asian: Indian’ had the highest proportion of those in positive destinations (both 97%).

  

2.5 Modern Apprenticeships

We know that people from visible minority ethnic communities are underrepresented in Modern Apprenticeships (MAs), as are women – although we are seeing increases in the proportion of MA starts from visible minority ethnic communities.[22] There are some limitations on available data broken down by ethnicity and gender, restricting our ability to explore intersectional aspects of this.

 

There is a fairly consistent pattern of higher numbers of men starting and completing MAs, and of men training in MA frameworks that are associated with higher earning, male-dominated careers. There is also a historically low proportion of people from visible minority ethnic communities starting MAs, relative to the population share.

 

In 2018-19, there were 10,489 female MA starts, compared to 16,781 male MA starts – women represented 38% of all MA starts. In 2014-15, women represented 40% of all MA starts. In 2018-19, there were 3,395 female starts on Sport, Health & Social Care MA frameworks, compared to 624 male starts. In 2018-19, there were 1,434 male starts on Engineering & Energy Related MA frameworks, compared to 81 female starts.

 

The percentage of ‘gender imbalanced’ MA frameworks (i.e. where the gender balance is 75:25) increased by 0.7 percentage points between 2017-18 and 2018-19, but remains at 72%.[23] This is a decrease of 1 percentage point since 2013-14.[24]

 

The percentage of MA starts from visible minority ethnic communities increased from 1.9% in 2017-18 to 2.3% in 2018-19. This is an increase of 1.2 percentage points since 2013-14.[25] Among MA starts from visible minority ethnic communities, 44% (or 273 people) identified as female.[26]

 

2.6 Further and Higher Education

The UK Higher Education Student Statistics show that 59% of university student enrolments in Scotland in 2018-19 were women and 91% of all UK domiciled enrolments (whose ethnicity was known) identified as ‘White’, but the proportion of female students who identified with each ethnic group is not published.[27] Among Scottish domiciled full-time first degree entrants in 2017-18, the proportion of female students was larger among ‘White’ students (60%) than among visible minority ethnic students (53%).[28]

 

Among different ethnicities, the proportion of female enrolments at Scottish colleges specifically in 2016-17 was highest for ‘Asian’ (51% female) and ‘other White’ (61%) students.[29] The lowest proportion of female enrolments was seen with ‘Black’ students (44% female). A larger proportion of non-white minority ethnic female college students (82%) completed their courses successfully in 2016-17 compared with ‘White’ female students (79%). This was true across all the visible minority ethnicities measured – ‘Asian’, ‘Black’ and ‘Mixed and other’ ethnicities.

 

For all Higher Education students UK-wide (including HE provision at Scottish colleges) in 2016-17, the highest proportion of female students was seen among ‘Black’ students (59% female).[30]

 

Amongst all first-degree undergraduate students across the UK, there was a considerable ethnicity attainment gap for both genders in 2016-17. 81% of ‘White’ female students received a First or 2:1 compared to 67% of non-white minority ethnic female students.[31] For male students, these figures were 78% and 64% respectively. Among non-white minority ethnic students, the highest attainment rates were seen with ‘Chinese’ students and those of ‘Mixed’ ethnicity, and the lowest with ‘Black’ students, for both genders. 77% of ‘Chinese’ and ‘Mixed ethnicity’ female students received a First or 2:1, 70% of ‘Asian’ female students, 69% of those of an ‘Other ethnicity’ and 57% of Black students.

 

2.7 STEM

A five-year, mixed-methods study in England funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) found that female students aged 12-13 were less likely than male students to want a career in STEM, and that students who identified as ‘Asian’ were more likely than those of other ethnicities to want to pursue a science career, with ‘Black’ students also tending to have stronger aspirations than those who identified as ‘White’.[32]

 

However, the researchers note that ‘national post-16 participation figures suggest that the relatively high science aspirations expressed by ‘Black’ students in our surveys may not translate into later participation rates’ and suggest that this may be because the factors which hinder students overall from developing science aspirations (such as not being seen as highly academic, having lower levels of cultural capital and having a family with lower levels of knowledge and interest in science) are amplified in the case of ‘Black’ students due to the multiple inequalities they face. They also found that the widespread view that science qualifications predominantly lead to a narrow range of careers (as a scientist or doctor) and the stereotype of scientists as being mostly white, male and middle-class, were particularly notable among ‘Black’ students and their parents.

 

The study also found that students aged 12-13 who were in a top set for science were twice as likely as average to want to work in science, due to a common conception that science is just for very brainy students. It has been shown that both teachers and students are less likely to consider minority ethnic and/or female students as ‘naturally’ clever, as well as those who are working-class.

 

Specific to Scotland, monitoring of the STEM Strategy for Education and Training includes several key measures related to equalities gaps in participation and achievement in STEM learning, engagement and study.[33] For example:

 

  • Gender balance in STEM subjects studied at university: The percentage of female enrolments across STEM courses at universities has, in general, been increasing marginally from 2014-15 to 2018-19.[34] In 2018-19, it ranged from 67% for the Biological Sciences to 20% for Engineering and Technology and 21% for Computer Sciences. There were very slight increases in the proportion of female enrolments in Engineering and Technology and Computer Sciences between 2014-15 and 2018-19 but a slight decrease for Mathematical Sciences.[35]
  • Gender balance in STEM subjects studied at college: In the college sector, while there remains a lot to be done, progress has been encouraging.[36] The percentage of female enrolments across STEM courses at HE level had been gradually increasing from 14% in 2014-15 to 18% in 2017-18, but fell to 14% in 2018-19. In 2018-19, enrolments ranged from 54% for Business Management and Administration to 4% for Nautical Studies and 7% in Engineering. At Further Education level, over the same five year period the proportion of women taking STEM courses has increased slightly, from 30.8% in 2014-15 to 31.3% in 2018-19. While figures are variable across the types of course, there are promising increases for Engineering with female enrolments increasing from 15% in 2014-15 to 24% in 2018-19.
  • Gender balance in Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs): FAs[1] are still quite new and numbers are still relatively small but expanding. Additional frameworks are still being added in and this could have a disproportionate effect on gender balance statistics which can mask underlying trends. However, progress in gender balance across FAs is encouraging. Women represented 8% of starts in STEM frameworks in cohort 1 (2016-18). This increased to 13% of starts in STEM frameworks in cohort 2 (2017-2019) and to 21% of starts in STEM frameworks for cohort 3 (2018-20).[37]

 

  1. Employment

The Census and the Annual Population Survey (APS) are the two main sources of data on how different ethnic groups fare in the labour market. The APS data is released quarterly and is more up-to-date, whereas the Census data provides a more detailed breakdown of the ethnicity categories and is available at lower geographies.

 

Women are less likely to be employed if they are minority ethnic. The minority ethnic employment gap (the difference between the employment rate for White people and for visible ethnic minority people) is much higher for women than men; for women the minority ethnic employment gap was 26.8 percentage points in 2018, compared to 11.2 percentage points for men.[38]

 

Graph 7: Employment rate (16-64) for minority ethnic and white people, by gender (Annual Population Survey 2018)

Graph 7: Employment rate (16-64) for minority ethnic and white people, by gender (Annual Population Survey 2018)

Data from the last Census, in 2011 (illustrated in the graph below), shows that working-age ‘Asian’ women and those of ‘Other ethnic groups’ were much less likely to be employed than ‘White’ women, ‘Caribbean or Black’ women, ‘African’ women or those of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’.[39]

 

Graph 8: Economic activity among women aged 16-64 by ethnicity (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Graph 8: Economic activity among women aged 16-64 by ethnicity (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

There is some evidence to show that in minority ethnic households with extended families, people are brought up with the cultural expectation that they will look after their family members, and many therefore can find it difficult to strike the balance between caring and continuing with their jobs.[40]

 

3.1 Employment among older women

At the time of the last Census in 2011, ‘White’ women aged 65+ were more likely than those of other ethnicities of the same age to be retired. ‘African’ women and those of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ or ‘Other ethnic groups’ were around twice as likely as ‘White’ or ‘Asian’ women to be employed aged 65+, although the small numbers of women in some of these groups mean that these findings should be treated with some caution.

 

3.2 Hours worked

‘Bangladeshi’ women (Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British) were by far the most likely to be working part-time in 2011, as Graph 9 shows, with 57% working 1-30 hours a week.[41] This was followed by ‘Pakistani’ women (49%) and ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’ women (44%). ‘Indian’ women were the least likely to be working part-time, at just 31% of those who were in employment. Those whose ethnicity was ‘White: other’ were most likely to be working 38 or more hours a week (49% of those who were employed), followed by ‘White Polish’ women (45%) and ‘Chinese’ women (44%).    

 

Graph 9: Hours worked among women aged 16-74 in employment the week before the Census, by ethnicity (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Graph 9: Hours worked among women aged 16-74 in employment the week before the Census, by ethnicity (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

Women were more likely than men to be working part-time (1-30 hours per week) across all ethnicities, with the smallest differences seems among those who identified as ‘Chinese’ or ‘other Asian’. As with women, ‘Bangladeshi’ men were more likely than those of any other ethnic group to work part time (37%), but ‘White Polish’ and ‘White Irish’ men the least likely to be doing so, at 9% each.

 

3.3 Occupation

‘Asian’ women were most likely to be working as a ‘Manager, Director and Senior Official‘ in 2011, and ‘African’ women were the least likely to be doing so.[42] ‘White’ women were the most likely to be working in administrative or secretarial occupations, while ‘African’ women were by far the most likely to be working in caring, leisure and other service occupations (and more than twice as likely as ‘Asian’ women or those of mixed or multiple, or of other ethnicities to be doing so).

 

Graph 10 shows that the majority of those from the highest occupational group – ‘Managers, Directors and Senior Officials’ – were male. This was the case across all ethnic groups, apart from the ‘White: Polish’ group where there was a 50-50 split between males and females.

 

This difference was most prominent in the ‘Other Ethnic group’ and the ‘Pakistani’ group, where the proportion of males in the highest occupational group was 81 and 79 per cent, respectively.

 

Graph 10: Ethnic Group by Gender, for Managers, Directors &  Senior Officials, All People 16-74 years in Employment (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Graph 10: Ethnic Group by Gender, for Managers, Directors & Senior Officials, All People 16-74 years in Employment (Scotland’s Census 2011)

Note: ‘other ethnic groups’ includes Arab, which accounted for around two thirds of those in this ‘other’ category in 2011.

 

3.4 Industry

Women of all ethnicities were most likely to be working in human health and social work activities in 2011, of the industries asked about in the Census.[43] ‘African’ women were the most likely to be working in this industry (44% of ‘African’ women aged 16-74 who were in employment the week before the Census) and twice as likely to be doing so as women of mixed or multiple ethnicities (22%). ‘African’ women were also the most likely to be working in administrative and support service activities, while white women were the most likely to be working in public administration and defence or compulsory social work. Between a tenth and a fifth of women of all ethnicities were working in ‘Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles’, with ‘Asian’ women (at 19% of those employed) around twice as likely to be doing so as ‘Caribbean or Black’ women (10%) or ‘African’ women (11%). The proportions of women working in education rose from 6% of ‘African’ women to 16% of those of ‘Other ethnic groups’ (the majority of whom were ‘Arab’).

 

3.5 SMEs

In 2018, 15% of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) employers in Scotland were women-led, with a further 21% ‘equally-led’, with an equal number of men and women in the management team.[44] Just 2% were led by someone from a visible (non-white) minority ethnic group. Small and medium-size enterprises are businesses with between one and 249 employees.

 

  1. Housing and poverty

 

4.1 Poverty

People from visible minority ethnic (non-white) groups were more likely to be in poverty, both after and before housing costs, compared to those from the ‘White British’ group according to combined data for 2013-18.[45]

 

Thirty eight percent of people from ‘Mixed, Black, Black British and Other’ ethnic groups and 34% of ‘Asian or Asian British’ ethnic groups were in relative poverty after housing costs. In comparison, 18% of ‘White British’ people were in relative poverty. When looking at relative poverty before housing costs, a third (33%) of people from ‘Mixed, Black, Black British and Other’ ethnic groups and around a quarter (27%) of ‘Asian or Asian British’ ethnic groups were in relative poverty before housing costs. In comparison, around a sixth (16%) of ‘White British’ people were in relative poverty.

 

The most common way to measure poverty is by looking at household income, which means that a man and woman living in the same household are counted either as both being in poverty, or both not in poverty. So gender breakdowns of poverty statistics often focus on single adults, i.e. those who are the only adult in the household.

 

Among working-age single adults without children, men and women tend to have a similar risk of poverty.[46] However, if single adults with dependent children (i.e. lone parents, the vast majority of whom are women) are included, women tend to have a slightly higher risk of poverty than men. Poverty rates among single pensioners tend to be higher for women than men.

 

4.2 Pay

Analysis looking at Great Britain as a whole shows that women of ‘Pakistani’, ‘Bangladeshi’, ‘any other Asian’ and ‘Black/African/Caribbean/Black British’ ethnicities had lower median gross hourly earnings that ‘White British’ women in 2018.[47] ‘White other’ women earned a similar amount per hour as ‘White British’ women, while ‘Indian’ and ‘Chinese’ women and those of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnic groups’ had higher median gross hourly earnings. Overall, ‘Pakistani’ women had the lowest median gross hourly earnings, at £9.61/hour, while ‘Chinese’ women had the highest, at £14.73/hour.

 

This Great-Britain-level analysis also shows that the difference in hourly pay between men and women differs among ethnic groups. For example, women in the ‘Bangladeshi’ ethnic group earned more per hour on average than their male counterparts, showing a gender pay gap of negative 11% in 2018. ‘Black African, Caribbean or Black British’ men and women also had similar median hourly earnings, with men earning 3% more on average in Britain. However, should be noted that the ‘Bangladeshi’ ethnic group has a smaller sample size and so these estimates are more susceptible to volatility and inaccuracy than some of the other ethnic groups.

 

Comparatively, the two ethnic groups with the highest median hourly pay in Britain, ‘Chinese’ and ‘Indian’, had a larger difference in hourly earnings between men and women. ‘Chinese’ men on average earned 19% more per hour than ‘Chinese’ women, and ‘Indian’ men earned 23% more per hour than Indian women. Similar to the ‘Bangladeshi’ ethnic group, the ‘Chinese’ ethnic group has a smaller sample size than the other ethnic groups.

 

There is evidence that some occupations are low paid solely because of the way skills and values are socially constructed which can mean that certain types of work generally undertaken by women is undervalued. Additionally, we know that some minority ethnic communities are over represented in low paid work, because of a number of different factors including challenges around the recognition of qualifications gained from outside of the UK. We can also see pay increase as the proportion of men entering an occupation rises meanwhile the reverse occurs as sectors feminise.[48]

 

4.3 Housing

Those who identify as ‘White Scottish’ or ‘White other British’, are more likely to own their home.[49] For example, overall 65% of adults owned their home in 2018, but while this was higher for those who identified as ‘White Scottish’ (68%) or ‘White other British’ (70%), it was lower for other ethnicities, in particular for ‘African’, ‘Caribbean or Black’ (24%) and ‘White Polish’ (27%) people. There are advantages and disadvantages to renting over owning but one key advantage to owning is that the household can accrue property wealth.

 

The 2011 census showed that ‘White Polish’, ‘Bangladeshi’ and ‘African’ households had the highest rates of over-crowding.[50]

 

It also showed that households where the Household Reference Person (HRP) was from a minority ethnic group were more likely to be in urban areas in Scotland. The vast majority of ‘African’ households were in large urban areas (85%) compared to only 40% of all households.

 

During 2018-19 just over half (54%) of homelessness applications had a main applicant who was male.[51] Almost half (45%) of homelessness applications came from single male households, while single female households accounted for almost a fifth (17%) of applications. Female single parents make up a larger proportion of applications than male single parents however, with 21% compared to 4%. Eighty-eight percent of main applicants were of ‘White’ ethnicity (76% were of ‘White Scottish’ ethnicity). By comparison, 95% of the Scottish population are of ’White’ ethnicity (77% white Scottish). The proportion of those identifying themselves as in ‘Other ethnic group’ has increased over time, from about 2% in 2008/09 to about 4% in 2018/19.

 

A violent or abusive dispute within the household is the most common reason for making a homelessness application for both female applicants and for applicants of ‘Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British’ ethnicity.[52] This accounted for 22% of all applications from female main applicants in 2018-19, compared to just 5% of applications from male main applicants. 21% single females making a homelessness application stated this as the main reason for doing so and 27% of female single parents.

 

A violent or abusive dispute within the household accounted for 120 (23%) of the 515 applications from ‘Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British’ applicants, compared to 13% of all applications. Of these, 105 (88%) were from female main applicants. This accounts for the main reason for homelessness for 41% of the 255 female ‘Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British’ applicants. 

 

  1. Health

Women (and men) in most of the larger ethnic minority groups in Scotland have longer life expectancies than the majority ‘White Scottish’ population.[53]

 

Rates of hospitalisation among women vary by ethnicity:

  • ‘Indian’, ‘Pakistani’, ‘Other South Asian’, ‘African’, and ‘Chinese’ groups all had lower rates of hospitalisation or death from cancer as a whole than ‘White Scottish’ women (and men)
  • ‘Pakistani’ women had the highest rates of hospitalisation and death due to heart attack
  • ‘Chinese’ and ‘Pakistani’ women have substantially higher rate of hospitalisation for liver disease
  • Compared to the ‘White Scottish’ population, the highest rates of hospital admission for respiratory conditions were in ‘Pakistani’ women. The lowest rates were seen in ‘Chinese’ women.
  • ‘Pakistani’, ‘Bangladeshi’ and ‘Black/Caribbean’ women appear to have higher rates of hospital admission than men of the same ethnic groups, while ‘Arab’ women seem to have lower rates of hospital admission than ‘Arab’ men.

 

There is some evidence that rates of outpatient appointments are higher for women than men in all ethnic groups except ‘Asian other’. Those of ‘White Irish’, ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’ and ‘Arab’ ethnicities appear to have the lowest rates of outpatient appointments and hospital admissions, for both men and women. This may be due to under-recording of these ethnicities compared to the proportions reported in census records, but for some of these groups it may also reflect issues with access.

 

Evidence suggests that there are relatively high rates of maternity admissions for ‘Bangladeshi’, ‘African’ and ‘Pakistani’ women. This might be related to larger average family size in these ethnic groups. Conversely, there appear to be relatively low rates of maternity admissions for ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ women. This may be partly due to under-recording of this ethnicity in health data compared to the proportions reported in census records, but might also be related to higher rates of home births amongst this ethnic group.

 

‘Black/Caribbean’, ‘African’, ‘Asian other’ and ‘Arab’ women appear to have lower rates of psychiatric admission than men of the same ethnicities, while ‘White Gypsy/Traveller’ women, ‘White Polish’ women and women of ‘Mixed or multiple ethnicities’ appear to have higher rates than men of the same ethnicities. There appear to be relatively low rates of psychiatric admission for people in all of the ‘Asian’ ethnic groups apart from ‘Asian other’, and relatively high rates of admission for those of the ‘White other British’ ethnic group.

 

  1. Physical activity

There is limited evidence on how gender and ethnicity together influence people’s participation in sport and physical activity, but we know that girls and women are less likely that boys and men to do the recommended amount of physical activity. There is also evidence that ‘Pakistani’ adults and minority ethnic children are less likely than adults of other ethnicities or white children to meet recommended physical activity levels.

 

In 2017, 31% of girls in Scotland aged 5-15 met the recommended level of at least 60 minutes of physical activity on every day of the week (including activity at school).[54] This was lower than for boys, of whom 36% of 5–15 year-olds met this recommended activity level. Women were significantly less likely than men to meet physical activity guidelines: in 2018 just 62% of women accumulated the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week or an equivalent combination of both , compared to 70% of men.[55]

 

A Scottish Health Survey Equality Group topic report pooled Scottish Health Survey data from 2008-11 for adults and controlled for age.[56] It showed that ‘Pakistani’ adults were the least likely to achieve the recommended physical activity levels (old guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on at least 5 days per week). Only 27% did so compared to the national average of 38%. No other ethnic groups were significantly different from the national average in relation to physical activity.

 

Analysis of children’s data from 2008-11 also found that among young people, those from ethnic minorities were less likely to meet physical activity guidelines (57% vs 73%), suggesting issues with lowers levels of physical activity may begin in childhood and persist through to adulthood.

 

UK-wide research from 2009 found that women of ‘Pakistani’ and ‘Bangladeshi’ ethnicity had particularly low levels of physical activity (around half as many met recommended levels of physical activity compared to both the national average for women and the average for ‘Pakistani’ and ‘Bangladeshi’ men).[57]

 

For sports specifically, Muslims and Roman Catholics participate in sport less than the national average in Scotland (39% and 46% respectively compared to an average of 49%), while those of other Christian groups do more sport on average (52%).[58] Those with disabilities or from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds are also less likely to participate in sports.[59] These same groups, as well as other ethnic and religious minorities, are also less likely to use leisure facilities.[60]

 

Research indicates that there is no difference between ‘White’ and ‘Asian’ adults in Scotland with regards to walking, and that many ‘South Asian’ women find this activity easier to incorporate into their lives than other physical activities.[61]

 

A lack of media coverage of sporting achievements of those with protected characteristics, a more general lack of role models in sport (particularly of deaf, LGBT and female Muslim sportspeople), negative school PE experiences and costs (especially for ethnic minority, disabled and LGBT people) have all be found to be barriers to sports participation.[62]

 

Research has shown those of South Asian origin in Scotland tend to enjoy the same physical activities as the wider population and have similar motivations for wanting to engage in them, but that many, particularly women, have been discouraged by their cultural background and attitudes of older members of their families or community.[63] For some ethnic minority women, the appropriateness of sports clothing, self-image, concerns about body shape norms and lack of single-sex sessions for sports such as swimming have been found to be barriers.[64] A representative survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics in England in 1999-2000 found that home and family responsibilities prevented a significant proportion of ethnic minority women (over 40%) from participating in the sports they would like to do.[65] The cost of sports (particularly in relation to children’s sports) has also been cited as a barrier to participation by those of ethnic minorities.[66]

 

UK research suggests insensitivity to cultural beliefs in the way school sports lessons are delivered can be a significant barrier to many Muslim girls’ participation and leads to some skipping classes.[67] Current PE uniforms and communal showering, for example, both require exposing more of the body than some Muslim girls are comfortable with.[68] Finally, some Muslim children are also reluctant to participate in PE during Ramadan since fasting results in lower energy levels.[69]

 

  1. Public participation and engagement 

As of May 2019, only 2 MSPs were from ethnic minorities, and both were male.[70] While there was a higher proportion of women among non-white MPs (51%) than white MPs (31%) following the 2017 General Election, no ethnic minority MPs were elected in Scotland.[71]

 

Of those for whom data is available, just under half (49%) of board members for public bodies in Scotland were women at the end of 2018.[72] This was an increase of 3 percentage points from the year before, and of 14 percentage points since 2004-05.[73] 3% of board members were of a non-white ethnicity at the end of 2018. However the Ethical Standards Commissioner, which reports on the diversity of the boards of public bodies, does not provide a breakdown by both gender and ethnicity.

 

Up to 1% of female police officers in Scotland were of a visible minority ethnicity in 2016, with more than 97% ‘White British’.[74]

 

  1. Community cohesion and safety

‘White’ women are more likely than women of other ethnic minority groups to have a fairly or very strong sense of belonging to their community. Three quarters of ‘White’ women (77%) had a fairly or very strong sense of belonging in 2017, compared to less than two thirds (61%) of women of visible minority ethnicities.[75]

 

In 2018, visible minority ethnic adults were more likely to have experienced discrimination in the previous 12 months (17%) compared to white adults (8%).[76] Minority ethnic adults were also more likely to have experienced harassment (11%) than adults from ‘White’ ethnic groups (6%). Men and women were equally likely to have experienced discrimination (8%) or harassment (6%).

 

The majority of hate crimes recorded by police are aggravated by race. Two-thirds (67%) of the 6,736 hate crimes recorded in 2017-18 included a race aggravator.[77] The law in Scotland does not currently recognise crimes motivated by prejudice based on gender as hate crimes.

 

References

Data sources drawn on in this report collect self-reported data on whether respondents are male or female. The term gender is therefore used throughout this report, although though some data sources use the term sex in their research. 

For the full list of references, graphs, tables and a downloadable PDF please follow this link.