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Equality Matters in Business: interim evaluation - final report


The Equality Matters in Business project was developed initially by the Scottish Government, in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise (SE), with the overall aim of enhancing the advice and support available to Scottish-based SMEs on the business benefits of having good equality and diversity practices and policies in the workplace. The evaluation aims to examine performance against targets, achievement of objectives, outputs achieved and resulting economic impact (where possible, given the interim nature of the evaluation). The report is also intended to inform discussions about the future direction and delivery of the project.


The methodology consisted of: a review of background information; internal and external stakeholder consultations; a survey of event attendees; an online survey of advisors; and data analysis and review.


The project has been reasonably successful in delivering the outputs and outcomes set for it. However, it is questionable whether such outputs and outcomes are effectively aligned with the overall objectives set for the project. Those elements that have had the greatest demonstrable success have included the adviser training and, at least to some extent, the events and workshop programme. The impact of the wider communications activity however is much more difficult to ascertain. Those organisations that have engaged with the project have generally been very positive about the quality of this input. Inconsistency of organisational arrangements and staffing has militated against the effective delivery of the project.


It is suggested that there is a sound case for continuation of elements of the work delivered by the project. Questions whether the broader aspects of external communications should continue to play a key role as part of this project specifically. It is recommended that consideration should be given to this function being continued for a further period of perhaps two years and that consideration should be given to housing it within either the Scottish Government’s enterprise function or within an independent “business-focused” organisation but with strong Scottish Government support.

Author IBP Strategy and Research
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Equity
    Equal opportunities