Internal Employment Data – Aberdeen City Council

Note on data availability: There is good tracking for data on gender and age, but not for other characteristics. This will be partly due to gender and age data having been collected for decades, and also people’s comfort with sharing this data. In comparison, data on other characteristics has not been systematically collected for as long, and some characteristics like disability and sexual orientation may be seen as more sensitive, with people more reluctant to disclose information they feel may be used to discriminate against them. As a result, while gender and age data were available for 100% of employees, between a quarter and a third were missing data for marital status (23%), ethnicity (25-27%), disability status (32-34%), religion (34-35%) and sexual orientation (36-37%). Data was not available on transgender identity.

With so much data missing, it is difficult to draw many firm conclusions about the diversity of the workforce. As a starting point, the data summarised below comes from Appendix G of the Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Progress Report 2023, pp. 67-123.


The headline figure for gender is that 70% of the ACC workforce was female in 2021 and 2022. However, more than half the workforce is employed in education (56% in 2021 and 53% in 2022) – historically a female-dominated field. When excluding the figures for education employees, the ACC workforce has a more even gender divide – 58% female in 2021, and 55% in 2022. Figures are not further broken down by job type, role or pay grade.

In terms of recruitment, in 2021 and 2022, more than 16,000 people applied for ACC jobs each year, of whom 883 (5%) were successful in 2021, and 672 (4%) in 2022. In education, 88% of both total and successful applicants were female in 2021, and the figures were 85% and 80% in 2022. In non-education roles, 59% and 53% of applicants were female in 2021 and 2022, with slightly higher proportions of successful applicants – 64% and 55%.

It is worth noting that there was a higher proportion of applications for education roles in 2021 (62%) than in 2022 (46%). This difference is likely to be due to the number of jobs available – 514 education roles were filled in 2021, versus 341 in 2022. In the same two years, there was a similar number of roles filled outside of education (369 and 331).

Gender Pay Gap

Unfortunately, gender pay gap data was not disaggregated for education and non-education roles – only giving figures for education roles and the Council as a whole. On average, female ACC employees earn 5.5% more than male employees, rising to 17.4% for full time workers. On the surface, this appears to be positive news for women. However, the report’s explanation gives an interesting example of how women tend to ‘stall’ in middle management, without reaching the highest levels of responsibility at the same rate as men:

The gaps in favour of women may be due to a high percentage of women in teaching posts (82%), who also benefit from a longer pay-scale […] more women in Head, Depute Head and Principal Teacher posts (74%) and to more women in the supervisory, professional, and middle management grades G13 to G17 (68%). It should be noted that in terms of the 21 senior management posts the majority are held by males (67%).

ACC Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report, pp. 176-177


In education roles, the largest part of the ACC workforce was in their 30s (27% and 28% in 2021 and 2022). Outside of education, the largest group was in their 50s (30% and 28% in 2021 and 2022). In both areas, three-quarters of the workforce was between 30 and 59.

In both education and elsewhere in the Council, the majority of applicants were in their 20s and 30s. Overall, the age spread of successful applicants was very similar to that of total applicants.

Marital Status

More than half of ACC employees in 2021 and 2022 were either married, in a civil partnership, or living with a partner. Nearly a quarter opted not to disclose their marital status. It was not possible to consider figures for marital status among applicants for ACC jobs, because the data in the final report was incorrect (marked as draft, with some figures copied across multiple dates). However, from the broad strokes it appears that a much higher proportion of applicants chose to disclose their marital status, with less than 10% skipping the question or indicating their preferred not to answer it.


It is unlikely that the proportion of disabled employees in ACC reflects the 20% of the population who are disabled in the wider population. In both 2021 and 2022, 3% of education employees and 4% of non-education employees indicated they were disabled. Nearly two thirds indicated they were not disabled (58-60% in education, 61-64% otherwise). With around a third (between 32%-39%) not answering the question, it is impossible to know the actual proportion in the workforce.

In terms of recruitment, 94% of all applicants and 94-95% of successful applicants indicated they were not disabled. Around 3% of applicants and new hires were disabled.


In 2021 and 2022, nearly two-thirds of the ACC workforce was either White Scottish (39-40%) or White British (23-24%). In both years, 8% of employees were from another White ethnic background, including Irish, Polish, Eastern European, Gypsy/Traveller and Other White. The proportion was lower in education (6%) and higher in other areas (11%). It is worth noting that there were fewer than five Gypsy/Travellers working for ACC in 2021 and 2022, and none in education.

During this period, African, Caribbean or Black employees made up 1% of the workforce, as did Asian employees. Other groups (Mixed or Multiple, Arab and Other) were less than 1% each. Around a quarter of ACC employees did not disclose their ethnicity, but it is unlikely that the proportions in the ACC workforce reflect the ethnic diversity of the city.

In terms of recruitment, detailed ethnicity data was not collected after April 2021. While it is clear that three-quarters of all applicants in 2021 and 2022 were ‘white,’ along with 88% of successful applicants, there is no data showing the proportion of White Scottish/British applicants, compared with white minority groups. For the same period, between 6-9% of all applicants (and 3% of successful applicants) were Asian; 4% (2-3% successful) were African, Caribbean or Black; and 1% or less were from other ethnic groups. Around 3% of applicants did not disclose their ethnicity.


Similar to the wider population, ACC employees in both education and other roles were predominantly non-religious (38%), and around a third did not answer the question. 11-12% identified themselves as Church of Scotland, 9% as another Christian denomination, and 4% as Roman Catholic. 1% were Humanist, 1% another religion or belief, and 1% were a specific minority religion including Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan or Sikh.

In terms of recruitment, most applicants (57-61%) did not identify with a religion, and 63-67% of new hires were not religious. Around 10% did not answer the question. 8-9% identified themselves as Church of Scotland (8-12% of new hires); 5-8% as another Christian denomination (4-5% of new hires), and 9% as Roman Catholic (8% of new hires). 3-4% of applicants were Muslim (1-2% of new hires); 2-3% were Hindu (1% of new hires); and less than 1% were Buddhist, Humanist, Jewish, Pagan, Sikh or another religion or belief.

Sexual Orientation

Almost two-thirds of employees (60-62%) identified themselves as heterosexual in 2021 and 2022. 3% were lesbian, gay, bisexual or another sexual orientation, and 36-37% did not answer the question. Figures were similar between education and non-education roles.

A higher proportion of applicants disclosed their sexual orientation – only 5-7% skipped the question or preferred not to answer. 88% of applicants (87% of new hires) identified as heterosexual, and 6% were LGB+ (5-7% of new hires). Figures were similar between education and non-education roles.

Data Source:  2023, Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Progress Report 2021-2023. Link.
Category:  Charts, Tables & Statistics
Topics:  Aberdeen City  Demographics  Employment