CAMPAIGNERS for women’s rights have launched a new online tool and app to help Scottish businesses bridge the gender pay gap and boost equality in the workplace.

Close the Gap is behind the very first online self-assessment tool and app specifically designed for small to medium sized businesses which is free and easy to use and will help firms tackle issues such as flexible working, promotion, workplace culture and fair pay for women workers.

The project, which encourages action to address the gender pay gap by working with employers and staff providing information, guidance and support, wants all smaller firms to start using the Think Business, Think Equality online tool.

Close the Gap said research shows that gender equality in the workplace improves staff morale, attracts and retains staff resulting in lower recruitment costs, improves corporate image, reduces absenteeism, enhances productivity and innovation, and reduces the risk of damaging and costly tribunals.

Anna Ritchie Allan, Close the Gap project manager, said: “

Employers who take steps to promote inclusive workplace practices are more productive and more innovative.

“It makes good business sense to treat your people fairly, and the tool helps businesses identify simple ways to do this.

“We have designed this online tool for small and medium organisations and it covers five different topics for each section on the tool, which underpin the causes of the gender pay gap including flexible working, progression and promotion, workplace culture, men and women doing different types of jobs and then pay and reward.

“For each topic there is a test, and businesses can take each test separately or can choose to do them all at once.

“Each test should take no longer than five minutes to complete and at the end, based on your answers, you get an assessment report and a score which tells you the things you are doing well and things you could do better and provides a personalised action plan.”

The most recent Scottish gender pay gap figures from December 2014 show there is a 12 per cent gap between men and women’s full-time hourly rates, and a 32 per cent gap when comparing women’s part-time hourly rate to men’s full time hourly rate.

You can access the Think Business, Think Equality tool at or download the app for iOS or Android.

An easy and effective tool

By Patrick Byrne, CEO of Scots firm Pursuit Marketing, who is Close the Gap’s ambassador for its new business qualities tool

THE Think Business, Think Equality tool is for small and medium businesses. It is an online self-assessment tool which enables you to look at your current employment practice, and provides tailored advice and guidance on how your business can benefit from gender diversity.

As a small business but fast growing IT lead generation providers, we found the tool really easy to use.

The structure is clear and simple, with five short tests that focus on different themes.

We liked that we could pick the theme or themes that we felt were most relevant to our business, rather than having to work through them all.

The tests themselves are quick and easy, just a series of short questions taking no more than five minutes to complete.

The results tell you where your business is doing well and also where you can make small changes which could benefit your whole business.

We received a personalised action plan which sets out clear steps that we could take to add real value for our people and for our performance.

We’re confident the tool has given us all the information we need to get started.