Women in remote rural areas have lowest incomes, research finds

- Advertisement -

Women in remote parts of the country had the lowest annual income on average last year, according to new research.

However women in accessible rural areas had the highest income of all female employees in Scotland in 2017, research by Scotland’s Rural College found.

Analysis of Government figures found the median gross annual pay for women in remote rural areas was £24,934 compared to £27,503 for those in accessible rural areas. The figure for full-time female workers in the rest of Scotland stood at £25,243.

The interim report found the gender pay gap in rural, island and remote areas has decreased over the last decade.

A number of factors appear to be behind the low levels of income for women in remote areas, such as employment in low paid sectors, higher levels of part-time working, reduced mobility and the dominance of micro businesses in rural, remote and island areas.

The median gender pay gap last year stood at 16.2%, Office for National Statistics figures show.

The Scottish Government welcomed the improvement over the last 10 years but said much remains to be done to improve equality.

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “It is clear from this research that while there is much still to be done to eliminate the gender pay gap in our rural and remote communities, I’m encouraged that since 2008 the pay gap has decreased at an even faster rate than the overall national average.

“It also lays bare the scale of the challenge before us and the need to make sure our rural economy better supports women to retain and gain well paid jobs. So, while progress is to be welcomed, the rate of change remains slower than in urban areas and is unacceptable for a modern, inclusive nation.

“Equality for women is an integral part of our inclusive growth vision and we are determined to improve the position of women in the workplace.”

The Scottish Government said it is investing £5 million over the next three years to support around 2,000 women to return to work and a further £205,000 to challenge and change employment practices and workplace cultures.

Scotland’s Rural College Rural Policy Centre manager Jane Atterton, who is leading the project, said: “Our research is exploring a number of reasons that might explain the gender pay gap in rural areas.

“These reasons include the large proportion of females working part-time and more limited formal childcare options.

“We are looking to submit the final report in the very near future and a key component of this will be setting out our recommendations for further work in this important area.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.