Womenomics Report: 6th July 2016

Mr Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) (LD)
8. What progress the Government are making on implementing the recommendations of the Womenomics report on the role and contribution of women in the Scottish economy, published in March 2015; and if he will make a statement. [905600]

The Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry)
I thank the right hon. Gentleman for commissioning the Sawers report. The Government have published their response, and, following the elections in May, a ministerial group is being put together from all the Administrations in the United Kingdom—it will include my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and Family Justice—so that we can begin to make progress. Meanwhile, the gender pay gap is diminishing to an all-time record low.

Mr Carmichael
As we tackle the economic challenges that face Scotland as a result of Brexit, removing barriers to the full economic contribution of women to Scotland’s economy becomes more important than ever. Professor Sawers’s report offers the Government a road map. Will the Minister ensure that someone in the Scotland Office blows the dust off it, and implements some of the very good, solid recommendations that it contains?

Anna Soubry
As I have said, the report is very good, and it is critical for everyone to work together. The Scottish Parliament now has more devolved powers specifically to address the problems of gender equality, which, of course, includes any disadvantage for women.