Scottish Review on gender inequality on public boards

A very detailed analysis here by Kenneth Roy of the Scottish Review of gender inequality on public boards in Scotland, and how far we have to go before we reach 50.50.  The analysis shows that “the majority [of boards surveyed] – 29 of the 52 – are weighted or extremely weighted against female representation”

As well as the headline comparisons looking poor, the analysis reveals that:

The dire paucity of women in Scottish public life is even worse than it looks, for of the 172, no fewer than 35 have more than public appointment. For example, Carole Wilkinson, former CEO of the Scottish Social Services Council, is not only chair of the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, but a member of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and NHS Education for Scotland.

The current Queen of the Quangos is, however, Jeane Freeman, founder of the Women for Independence group. Last year, Freeman picked up an astonishing £57,000 as a non-exec member of the Scottish Police Authority, an estimated £23,000 as part-time chair of the National Waiting Times Centre Board – a total of £80,000 so far – plus an undisclosed sum as a lay member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland – undisclosed because, unacceptably, that body fails to publish details of fees to non-execs in its annual report. We can report, however, that the going rate for people like Jeanne Freeman on the Judicial Appointments Board is £290 a day.

Could it be that Nicola Sturgeon’s ’50/50 by 2020′ commitment will be achieved by encouraging many more such multiple appointments?

The sidebar story provides an interesting analysis of the payments made to non-executive members of the Scottish Police Authority in the past year, which amounted to just over £0.5 million.

The Scottish Review publishes a large amount of carefully researched pieces into Scottish public life, on the model of old-school investigative journalism, such as the sidebar here on suicides in Scottish prisons.  The surprise is that more (any?) pieces on this site don’t get picked up more widely.


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