The barriers to advancing race equality in Scottish local authority employment

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This paper critically evaluates potential barriers to employment opportunities for ethnic minority (EM) individuals in Scottish Local Authorities – both in terms of access to job and development opportunities. It provides a fundamental discussion of concepts around race and ethnicity, and the levels of social injustice, with an explicit focus on institutional racialisation, discrimination and segregation. The paper explores organisational approaches towards recruitment, including positive action and workforce development.

This paper adopts a subjectivist (ontology) and interpretivist (epistemology) stance, based on a small-scale, in-depth investigation. The data have been gathered through semi-structured interviews with equality diversity and inclusion (EDI) officers in four Scottish Local Authorities, utilising thematic analysis.

The finding suggests that participating local authorities have a long way to go to ensure the elimination of barriers to employment for EM people. This is largely based on concerns around limitations in the application of positive action and elimination of disadvantages in recruitment and access to career and development opportunities?

The paper aims to contribute by exploring the availability of employment opportunities for EMs through the eyes of EDI Officers in four local authorities. Their thorough understanding, over- and insight into potential equality issues from an employment perspective are invaluable, focussing on more tangible organisational issues and approaches.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2024


  • race
  • ethnicity
  • ethnic minorities
  • equality
  • equality act 2010
  • discrimination
  • segregation
  • positive action
  • recruitment
  • selection
  • training
  • career developmemt
  • Scotland


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