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Scotland's diversity message

Published: 03 Jul 2018 11:00

Inspiring inclusive economic growth.

Scotland is driving for a more inclusive form of growth that tackles inequalities while encouraging competitiveness to help develop future leaders and improve gender balance.

That was the message from External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop as she addressed business leaders in Tokyo as part of her five day visit to Japan.

Ms Hyslop outlined Scotland’s commitments to support women's equality, including legislating for gender balance on public sector boards.

She also highlighted ‘Scotland Is Now’, a new campaign to promote Scotland internationally which invites more people to work, study, visit and invest here.

At a business lunch hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce Japan, Ms Hyslop said:

“Today is an opportunity to celebrate the links between our countries and to talk to you about Scotland as a forward-thinking, innovative and entrepreneurial nation and our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“The greatest asset to any business is its workforce. Inclusive growth and diversity is about accepting and valuing the differences individuals bring to the workplace. It makes good business sense to realise potential and improve productivity.

“In Scotland, and globally, there remains a very real challenge and demand to reduce the gender pay gap. We are determined to reduce gender inequality and improve the position of women in the workplace.

“The UN has commended Scotland’s achievement in striking a 50/50 gender balance for our Cabinet – putting equality at the heart of Government.

“We are introducing legislation to ensure that women are represented in all senior and decision-making roles, including in the boardroom and in politics.

“And we want to work even more closely with Japan – now and in the years and decades ahead – to achieve our shared goals. Scotland has a lot to offer, but we know we also have a lot to learn from Japan’s ingenuity, expertise and success.”