GCU Gender Budgeting expert heads to Liesel Beckmann Symposium

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Professor Ailsa McKay is presenting a keynote speech and workshops at the Liesel Beckmann Symposium 2010.

This year’s symposium is devoted to the theme “Gender in the Business Sciences” and is especially relevant in the light of current debates.  In cooperation with the Gender Center of the Technische Universität München, and within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the Federal and State Governments, the Institute for Advanced Study has organised its fourth symposium on themes of gender and diversity.

The focus of this year’s lectures and workshops includes “leadership” in addition to “gender marketing” and “gender budgeting”, discussed by Prof Ailsa McKay.

Professor McKay is Professor of Economics in the Department of Economic Studies and International Business and Vice Dean of the Caledonian Business School at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research interests include the economics of gender inequalities in modern welfare states. She is a founding member of the Scottish Women’s Budget Group and a member of the Scottish Governments Equality and Budgets Advisory Group.

For more information, www.gcu.ac.uk/cbs

Scottish Government consults on Equality Bill for public sector

The  Scottish Government has published a report following a consultation with the public sector on its views on whether the UK Equality Bill should introduce new socio-economic duties to Scottish public bodies.

The consultation asked whether the provision in the Bill to place a duty on certain public bodies to have due regard to socio-economic inequalities in strategic decision making (which, as the Bill stands, applies to England and Wales only) should be extended to Scottish public bodies.

69 written responses were received by the close of the consultation. Overall, there was a majority of respondents in favour of the application of the socio-economic duty to public authorities in Scotland.

A common theme was the existence of poverty and socio-economic inequality and other forms of inequality in Scotland, the impact of this and the need to address such issues. Others suggested a duty would ensure consistency and continuity of work to address socio-economic inequality and have a positive impact upon resources for such work and increase scrutiny of strategic decisions.

However, there were some perceived problems with the application of a socio-economic duty to public authorities in Scotland. Amongst these, a common theme was the existence of current arrangements and frameworks. There are also fears it would increase bureaucracy and make public authorities vulnerable to legal challenge and judicial review.

What is your view? Join the debate here.

Businesses need to be aware of Equality issues

Smaller firms with fewer than 500 employees are now likely to be exempt from rules in the new Equality Bill as Harriet Harman tries to ensure the legislation is passed before the general election next year.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Department of Economic Studies and International Business is launching a new series of short courses for businesses eager to understand the language of economics to help them promote gender equality.

The course, which will be available from March 2010, helps policy makers to develop more robust and informed policy regarding their obligations towards the Scottish Government’s Gender Equality Duty and the forthcoming Equality Bill. It supports community activists by sharing experiences and by developing the tools and knowledge to hold decision-makers to account. It will allow the private sector to better understand legislation. gender-symbols

Businesses can also ask for bespoke course content and modules to suit their business needs. Oxfam was among the first organisations to use material from the Economics for Equality course, running pilots this year attended by 25 policy makers and community activists.

The new courses will be led by Ailsa McKay, Professor in Gender and Economics, who has worked extensively in the field of gender budget analysis.

To find out more about how Economics for Equality could work for your business, contact Fiona.Ramsay@gcal.ac.uk at the Applied Knowledge Exchange, or A.McKay@gcal.ac.uk.