Internal Employment Data – Aberdeenshire 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, data was missing for around half of employees on ethnicity (44-54%), disability status (49-53%), religion (49-59%), and sexual orientation (46-56%). The figure was much higher for transgender status (79-80%). Data was not available on marital status.

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 Appendices 1 and 2 of the Equality Mainstreaming and Outcomes Progress Report 2021-2025, pp. 45-76.


In 2021 and 2022, 78% of Aberdeenshire Council employees in non-teaching roles were female and 22% were male; for teaching staff the figures were 84% and 16%. For the top teaching positions, 77% were women; for the top non-teaching positions, the figures were 45% in 2021 and 50% in 2022 (no definitions were given for ‘top positions’). In terms of recruitment, more than 21,000 people applied for Aberdeenshire Council jobs each year in 2021 and 2022; 75% were female in 2021, and 71% in 2022. Figures are not available for new hires, or for teaching-specific recruitment.

Gender Pay Gap

Despite the low proportion of men working for Aberdeenshire Council, in 2019-20, non-teaching male staff earned on average 12% more than non-teaching female staff. In 2021-22, the figure was 11%. During the same period, male teaching staff earned on average 4% (in 2019-20) and 3% (in 2021-22) more than female teaching staff.


In 2021 and 2022, the largest age group of Aberdeenshire employees (25% and 27%) were in their 50s. Overall, nearly three-quarters (71%) of the workforce were age 30-59. Data was not available for the age of new hires, but the majority of applicants for Council jobs were in their 20s and 30s.


It is unlikely that the proportion of disabled employees in Aberdeenshire Council reflects the 20% of the population who are disabled in the wider population. In both 2021 and 2022, for both teaching and non-teaching employees, 1% indicated they were disabled. Half indicated they were not disabled (50% in 2021, 46% in 2022), and half did not answer the question (49% in 2021, 53% in 2022). In terms of recruitment, 3% of all applicants were disabled.


While around half of Aberdeenshire employees (between 44-54%) did not disclose their ethnicity, nearly half of teaching employees (46% in 2021, 43% in 2022) identified themselves as White Scottish or British. For non-teaching employees, the figures were 58% and 53%. In both teaching and other roles, 2% belonged to other ‘white’ ethnic groups, including Polish, Irish, Gypsy/Traveller, Roma and White Other. Members of non-‘white’ ethnic groups made up less than 1% of the workforce.

In terms of recruitment, 23,101 people applied for jobs at Aberdeenshire Council in 2021, and 21,663 in 2022. Of these, 75-79% identified themselves as White Scottish (65-74%) or White British (5-10%). There was a noticeable increase in applicants from African backgrounds, from 693 in 2021 (3%) to 1583 in 2022 (7%). Overall, 3% of applicants in 2021 were African, Caribbean or Black, and 8% in 2022. 9% belonged to other ‘white’ ethnic groups, 3% were Asian, and around 1% each were mixed-race or members of other ethnic groups. It should be noted that recruitment totals did not match between different categories, and even within individual tables, so some figures may be slightly inaccurate.


Around half of Aberdeenshire Council employees did not disclose their religion (49% and 53% of teaching staff; 56% and 59% of non-teaching staff). A fifth of teachers (21% and 20%) indicated they do not have a religion, along with 16% and 15% of non-teachers. Church of Scotland accounted for 18-20% of teachers and 16% of non-teachers. 6-8% of all staff identified with another Christian denomination, 2-3% as Roman Catholic, and 1% as another religion. Less than half a percent indicated they were a specific minority religion, including Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan and Sikh.

Among job applicants, more than half (60% and 58%) did not follow any religion, and 10-11% skipped the question. 14-15% identified themselves as Church of Scotland, 6% as another Christian denomination, 7% as Roman Catholic, and 3% as a specific minority religion (as above). There was a notable decrease in the number indicating ‘other’ religion or belief, from 114 (0.5%) in 2021, to 8 (0.04%) in 2022.

Sexual Orientation

In both teaching and non-teaching roles, 1% of Aberdeenshire staff indicated they were lesbian, gay, bisexual or another sexual orientation. Around half indicated they were heterosexual, and the rest did not answer the question. Among job applicants, only 7-8% skipped the question. 88-89% indicated they were heterosexual, and 4% were LGB+.

Transgender Status

For 79-80% of the Aberdeenshire Council workforce, transgender status was unknown, and 20% of employees reported they were cisgender. There were a total of 15 transgender employees in 2021, and 11 in 2022 (0.07% and 0.05%). Figures were not given for job applicants.

Data Source:  2023, Aberdeenshire Council Equality Mainstreaming and Outcomes Progress Report 2021-2025. Link.
Category:  Charts, Tables & Statistics
Topics:  Aberdeenshire  Demographics  Employment