Whether it is referred to as issues of gender or sex, discrimination based on whether you are male or female can be direct - treating somebody less favourably on the grounds of their sex - or indirect - applying an apparently general rule which in practice disadvantages one sex and which cannot be justified.
Preventing discrimination on the basis of gender improves the chances of an organisation recruiting the best person for the job and getting the best performance from all those who are employed there. All terms and conditions of employment are covered including any practice that involves applying a 'provision, criterion or practice' which, although it applies to men and women equally, puts one gender at a disadvantage and which the employer cannot show is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
Equal pay and equal access to recruitment and promotion opportunities are other obvious areas where such discrimination could occur and the council has undertaken many years of work in order to ensure that any ongoing equal pay issues are resolved and that all recruitment and selection practices, personal development and training issues etc are developed and implemented in a manner that does not disadvantage anyone, whatever their sex.
One of the council's seven Strategic Equality Objectives (number 2) is specifically aimed at addressing the gender pay gap and this fits with the wider work on tackling poverty as many of the lowest paid jobs and part-time posts are done by women.