The Employer Equalities Group (EEQ) aims to address under-representation in apprenticeships and to support better access and participation.  

The group’s work gathering insights into inequalities and challenges informs all other SAAB Groups. The EEQ further strengthens employer contribution to the development of apprenticeships and ensures they are aligned with industry, economic growth, job opportunities and Fair Work. 

The EEQ’s main responsibilities are: 

Informing & Influencing  

  • Provide advice to the other SAAB groups on the strategies, content and policies which are most likely to impact on employer behaviour and to improve representation in participation and outcomes


  • Act as ambassadors for diversity in apprenticeships   
  • Develop tools and resources for employers  
  • Share and promote best practice amongst employers in addressing under-representation, through appropriately, identified networks and channels including social media

Employer Equalities Group Membership

The EEQ is chaired by Stevie Grier, Country Manager Scotland at Microsoft.  

Steven Grier leads Microsoft’s Public Sector business in Scotland and the North of England. From humble IT beginnings on Margaret Thatcher’s YTS Scheme with Digital Equipment Corporation in 1989 so began a journey through oil (BP), booze (United Distillers), funerals (Co-Op) and software, ultimately finding himself at Microsoft in the year Windows XP launched (Bing it!). 

Passionate about the societal impact of technology, inspired by innovation and with a soft spot for healthcare and digital skills - he likes technology when it makes people smile. Married with a young son and has set himself the life challenge of finding the perfect balance between competitive cycling, Burns poetry and Scandinavian power metal music. It may take some time.

List of Employer Equalities Group's members

Name Role
Stevie Grier (Chair)
Country and Regional Manager Scotland and LRG North
Aileen Smith
Organisational Development Officer Dundee City Council
Amanda McKay 
Chair Building Equality Scotland
Angela Prentner-Smith
Managing Director This is Milk
Catherine Liebnitz
Vice President – People & Organisation Wood Plc
Julia Stevenson
Strategy, Leadership and Talent Lead Scottish Water
Linda Sommerville
Deputy General Secretary Scottish Union Learning – STUC
Mark Haslett
Senior HR Consultant: Policy & Diversity Scottish Power Energy Networks
Gail Kelly
HR Manager Forster Group
Natalie Buxton
Managing Director Weber Shandwick
Saj Sharif
CEO Zen Consultants (Sco) Ltd
Shona Finlayson
Software Engineering Team Lead Sky
Suzanne Sherry
Early Careers Manager Scotrail
Tony Scally
Business Development Manager Action for Children












  • Stuart McKenna, Chief Executive, Scottish Training Federation
  • Nicola Craig, Senior Policy Manager, Scottish Government

Agency leads

  • Katie Hutton, Director of National Training Programmes, Skills Development Scotland
  • Alaa Elaydi, Senior Policy Officer, Scottish Funding Council

Meeting Dates 2021/22

  • 10 December 2021
  • 4 February 2022

Employer Equalities Group's Terms of Reference

View full Terms of Reference.


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