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About Us

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Find out what we’re doing to reach and represent people of different backgrounds, perspectives and needs in our work.

A man with a beard and a name badge smiles at a person in a yellow coat as he scans a ticket.

Historic Environment Scotland is working hard to improve access and widen participation in Scotland’s historic environment.

We believe everyone should be treated fairly and that no one should be denied opportunities or discriminated against because of factors such as their age, disability, gender re-assignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status or pregnancy.

Heritage for all

Scotland’s history belongs to everyone. We want it to be understood, shared and enjoyed by all.

To make this possible, we:

  • collaborate with external partners such as Young Scot, Additional Support schools, disability advocacy groups and Black, Asian and minority ethnic heritage organisations. With the support of our partners, we are reducing barriers and giving everyone a voice on issues that affect them.

  • work to make Scotland’s historic places and collections, and our information and services, accessible and inclusive to everyone. Our regularly updated Access Guide and our British Sign Language (BSL) tours are just two examples of how we are doing this.

  • promote accurate, representative stories from every part of Scotland’s history. From exhibitions celebrating women's history, crowd-sourcing people and places from LGBT history, and commemorating contributions to Scotland’s society by providing a platform for hidden voices to be shared and celebrated as part of Scotland’s diverse history.


A group of people smiling beside a building and a large rainbow flag.

Our LGBT+ Employee and Workplace Allies Network launched in 2019.

Equal opportunities in Employment

Equality and diversity are key to Scotland’s success. We aim to employ a workforce that reflects, at all levels, the diversity of our society.

To make this possible, we are an equal opportunities and Living Wage accredited employer. With our staff, volunteers and partners, we shape and promote opportunities for training and volunteering relevant to a wide range of people. Find out more about our employment values.

In 2019, we launched our LGBT+ Employee and Workplace Allies Network which offers support for our staff, informs policy reviews within the organisation and helps build awareness of LGBT+ history and culture.

The health and wellbeing of our staff is extremely important to us. We’ve been an award-winning Healthy Working Lives organisation for three years in a row and we will continue to build on this success to enhance the benefits and opportunities for all our staff.

We seek to reward all our staff fairly. We publish our gender pay gap annually. The trends over the past 3 years show the gap has been relatively steady as outlined in the table below:

Gender Pay Gap Male Male Female Female All All Male/Female Male/Female
Year Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median
2017 12.99 11.50 12.81 11.50 12.91 11.50 1.4% 0.0%
2018 13.01 11.50 12.84 11.50 12.94 11.50 1.3% 0.0%
2019 13.34 11.84 13.26 11.84 13.30 11.84 0.6% 0.0%

Throughout 2018, our Board participated in the Scottish Government 50/50 programme which aims to tackle the under-representation of women in public and corporate leadership.

A woman wearing glasses and a cream cardigan speaking at a meeting.

Mainstreaming equality

Our mainstreaming activities aim to integrate equality, diversity and inclusion into our day-to-day work.

We need to understand how we currently operate in order to identify improvement actions. High level support from the Senior Management Team and leaders in the wider sector help to drive forward our initiatives and long term culture change.

  • Strategically
    We are reviewing our strategy, policy and decision making processes to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our work.

  • Legally
    In line with our statutory duties, we undertake Equality Impact Assessments (EqIA). These assessments verify that all our policies, procedures and practices foster respect, advance equality of opportunity and guarantee fairness.

  • Regulatory
    We publish Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Reports which set out our four equality outcomes our progress in meeting them.
Outcome Success defined by
1 Through the delivery of our services, people who are under-represented as a result of a protected or other characteristic are more able to engage with the historic environment
2 The quality and impact of decision making is enhanced by giving due regard to equality in setting our strategy and policies, and in our partnership working
3 Our Board, workforce and volunteer profile broadly reflects the demographic of Scotland
4 Our workforce welcomes, values and promotes inclusiveness

These outcomes will be formally reviewed in 2020 as we assess progress and identify new outcomes for April 2021 onwards.

Download equality publications