Posts Tagged ‘Ann McKechin’

Time to smash the glass ceiling that still faces women at work

14/11/2012, 03:41:13 PM

by Ann McKechin

Workplace equality is currently a hot topic among UK and EU legislators. In Europe, Viviane Reding, the EU commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, recently had plans for a 40% female quota on EU listed company boards quashed. Revised proposals released today look to soften down the original draft legislation. In Westminster, my colleagues and I on the business, innovation and skills select committee are now gathering evidence for a new inquiry: women in the workplace. The results so far have been both illuminating and alarming.

On a positive note, the evidence suggests that one year on from Lord Davies’s report Women on Boards, women at the top of British businesses are finally getting a seat at the table. The number of female board members in FTSE 100 companies has increased from 12% in 2010 to 17.3% in 2012, whilst the number with no women on the board dropped to eleven.

But there is still work to be done. The majority of women being appointed to board level positions at public companies are non-executive directors, who lack the power and influence that executive office brings. Despite the number of FTSE 100 companies with more than one woman on the board increasing to fifty since Lord Davies recommended a voluntary code of conduct for chairmen to follow, there remain fifty companies with only a single female board member. Change is a slow process, however, and the news that the corporate gender balance is gradually tilting towards equality can only be a good thing.

“Breaking the glass ceiling” and progressing to the top of the corporate ladder is far removed from the concerns of the vast majority of working women in the UK. Much of the written evidence submitted to the committee relates to the barriers stopping women across the pay levels returning to work after having children, from lack of flexibility in working hours to childcare costs which rank as the most expensive in the developed world. Gingerbread, a charity championing the rights of single parents, noted in their evidence that too much part-time work is concentrated in low-paid, low-skilled jobs.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Shadow cabinet: vote for Ann

20/09/2010, 02:02:00 PM

From: Ann McKechin
Sent: 20 September 2010 12:56
Subject: Ann McKechin for Labour’s Shadow Cabinet


  Ann McKechin

  Labour MP for Glasgow North

I am seeking your support for the Shadow Cabinet Elections.

Being in opposition is hard at any time but the coming months and years will be one of the most difficult periods in decades that this country and our Party will face.

We need to effectively represent the voices of those who will be hit hardest by the Coalition’s agenda to achieve a permanent “small state” solution but we also need to develop the right policies that will convince the electorate that there is a genuine alternative. Within the Parliamentary party we need to develop a new range of tactical skills that will require the Shadow Cabinet to work as closely as possible with backbench colleagues to maximise our efforts.

I believe I can offer a range of skills and experience to the role that will fit these challenges.


I was chair of the Scottish Parliamentary group during the Glasgow East by-election and learnt by hard experience of the need to keep your resolve even in the toughest of times and maintain team morale. I took up my Ministerial position in the Scotland Office in the week of the Lehman Brothers collapse at a time when Labour’s support had slumped, but was determined to show that our decisions at the height of the financial crisis to take over Scotland’s major banks were the correct choice..

I took an active role in the campaigns that led to our subsequent victories in both the Glenrothes and Glasgow North East by-elections which paved the way towards our strongest electoral performance in Scotland for many years at the General Election.

Policy Development

I was Chair of the Manifesto group on International Development before the General Election.

As Chair of the All Party Group on Debt, Aid and trade I was one of the first parliamentarians to actively call for a currency transaction tax and to produce a detailed report on how it could be achieved.


Before I was first elected in 2001, I spent many years actively campaigning as a volunteer for OXFAM and as the Scottish representative for the World Development Movement.

As a Backbencher, I successfully lobbied for a full public inquiry on the causes of the Stockline Factory explosion in my constituency. This has led to a number of significant changes in Health & Safety practices including the current replacement of every metal LPG pipe in the country.

In this year’s Election I faced a Libdem target campaign against my seat and managed to increase both my share of the vote and majority at a fraction of the cost of my opponent’s campaign.

Understanding Opposition

As a Scotland Office Minister and now a frontbench spokesperson, I have spent the last two years on a daily basis working on how to put across our message and develop our policies against an SNP led administration.

I hope to speak to as many members of the Group as possible but if you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or by phone on xxxxxxxxx.

Kind regards,


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon