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Do Women Not Want To Be The Boss? 2006-11-15

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Scotland, Statistics.
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Scotland’s public appointments ‘tsar’ will today make a passionate plea for more women to take up senior positions in public life.

The Commissioner for Public Appointments Ms.Karen Carlton, regulates the appointments to QUANGOs and boards in Scotland, will tell The Scottish Trades Union Congress (‘The STUC’) women’s conference in Perth that only 17 out of 99 major public bodies are chaired by women. Out of a total of nearly 650 members, fewer than 250 are women, The Commissioner will say. She is also planning to ask:

[Picture of Commissioner Carlton]
‘Why is it that while over 50 per cent of Scotland’s population is female, only 17 per cent of the chairs and 36 per cent of the members of our public bodies are female?’

The Commissioner will highlight the role of bodies such as the national galleries, NHS boards and ‘Scottish Enterprise’ play in Scottish life. And she will add:

‘I am here to encourage anyone interested to apply for a post on the board of a public body.’

The intervention by the appointment ‘tsar’, who regulates 107 out of Scotland 140 public bodies, came as female workers called for action on the under-representation of women.

Speaking before the event, which began in Perth yesterday, Conference Chairman Ms.Sandra Kennie cited a recent ‘Equal Opportunities Scotland’ report that showed women make up only one-third of public appointments in the country.

Although ‘The STUC’ itself has never had a female General-Secretary in 100 years, she added that only 12.5 per cent of the judiciary are female and only 15 per cent of Scottish MPs.

‘All too often it is the men in suits that wield the power, and this male, pale and stale facade is not conducive to making decisions in the best interests of all of Scotland’s population.

‘While the last few years have seen positive advances for women — Elish Angiolini’s recent appointment as Lord Advocate, and a critical mass of 39.5 per cent of female MSPs — women’s participation in key decision-making positions remains woefully low.’

  • The Minister for ParliamentaryBusiness Ms.Margaret Curran, and The Minister for Communities Mr.Malcolm Chisholm, as well as several other MSPs, will address delegates.

The Conference Chairman added:

‘We will also be urging the Scottish Executive, the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Scotland, and other key stakeholders, to do more to support and encourage women to move into public life’.

Speaking at the conference yesterday, The Conference Chairman said:

‘It was a bitter irony that Britain’s first woman PM was one of those most hostile to women and it proved our point — one woman at the top of a powerful organisation is not the answer in itself. We need a critical mass of women at all levels to deliver shifts in policies, structures and behaviours.’

Series of firsts for Angiolini

As Lord Advocate, Ms.Elish Angiolini has become one of the most powerful women in Scotland.

[Picture of The New Lord Advocate]The coalman’s daughter from Govan, Glasgow, completed several firsts in being appointed solicitor-general for Scotland. She was the first woman and (in spite of the title) the first solicitor, as opposed to an advocate, to hold the office.

She was also the first solicitor to have the letters QC after her name — only advocates had previously ‘taken silk’ to become a Queen’s counsel.

Ms.Angiolini hit back at senior legal figures and politicians, including the retired judge Lord Mccluskey, who questioned her suitability to become Lord Advocate.

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Comments»

1. Jacqui Whiteley - 2006-11-25

Research shows men are 72% more likely than women to be the owner or manager of an entrepreneurial business more than three-and-a-half years old.

Scottish Enterprise’s Marie Dorris said the problem was holding back economic growth in Scotland.

The warning came on National Women’s Enterprise Day.


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