FEATURED RSS Feed http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/ List of latest articles from WEA Women at Work Nicky Marr http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/714/Nicky-Marr http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/714/Nicky-Marr Nicky Marr is a freelance writer, editor and event and conference host, based in Inverness but working all over Scotland. She is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Scotland, and is in demand for voiceover work across the UK. Nicky is also a respected media and presentation skills trainer, has a number of PR clients, and is a qualified coach.Nicky writes and edits Connect, the magazine for Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, and writes a weekly column for the SPP newspaper group, for titles including The Inverness Courier, Ross-shire Journal and The Northern Scot. Away from work you'll find Nicky out on her bike, struggling with yoga or curled up with a good book and a (large) glass of wine. www.nickymarr.co.uk       Tell us a little bit about yourself ? I'm Nicky Marr, and three years ago, after 13 years co-hosting MFR Breakfast, I left to launch my own freelance media and communications career. The variety of my roles keeps me on my toes; I write a weekly column which is syndicated around six Scottish Provincial Press newspapers in the north of Scotland, and I write and edit Connect, the airport magazine for customers of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd. I also pop up in Radio Scotland on a fairly regular basis, either on the Kaye Adams Show, with John Beattie, or reviewing for Janice Forsyth; I've also hosted the foodie Kitchen Café. In between times I host numerous events around Scotland; awards ceremonies, business conferences, industry dinners and food and drink, book or film festival events, and I am a voiceover artist too. And when I'm not doing any of that I get involved with training - I run media training courses to help individuals and organisations cope with TV and radio interviews, and I teach presentation skills, mainly 1-2-1, but with groups too.   It's busy, but I have no regrets!    I grew up in Stonehaven and at 17 I went to Edinburgh University to study law. I was quite well behaved at school - I had to be, my Dad was head of biology there - but I didn't work nearly as hard as I could have. I watched how hard my own daughters worked for their Highers and felt quite ashamed.   My first job was picking tatties at Barclays Farm near Laurencekirk - I was 10 and we were paid £6 per day - riches! I worked all though school; as a Cream Boy (!), in a hotel, and as a carer in a Children's Home.   After my degree I took a year out between my Diploma in Legal Practice and my Traineeship to work a ski season, and after qualifying as a solicitor I spent five years as a Court of Session Civil Litigator. The highlight of my career was an adoption and custody case which ended up being appealed to the House of Lords; sitting in a court in the Palace of Westminster while some of the best legal brains in the country decided your client's fate was unforgettable. We won, but they changed the law on custody to close the loophole we had exploited. A move to the Highlands for my husband's job pretty well coincided with our children arriving, so I took a break from law for what I expected would be a couple of years. A chance meeting with another mum in the park led to the offer to stand in on MFR Breakfast for a week while one of the co-presenters was on holiday; that week on air lasted for 13 years. Over the years at MFR I began to build up my other portfolio of work; the columns started because I was bursting to write about my experienced broadcasting for MFR from a Royal Navy warship in the Caribbean, and the event hosting started when I was asked to host a conference for Women in Business. As our daughters grew up and started primary, then secondary school, I expanded my workload to fill the available hours...I had a policy of saying 'yes' to anything that excited me, which led to some amazing opportunities. By autumn of 2013 I was getting too busy; I would be still hosting a dinner in posh frock and heels at 1am, but my alarm for MFR Breakfast was set to go at 4.30am. Something had to give, so I took the decision to go solo. Since then I have never worked harder, but I have never been happier, professionally. I am a strong believer in following my gut instinct - if a client or project feels right, it's likely to develop into a great working experience. What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about my bike; getting up into the hills above South Loch Ness or over to The Black Isle is one of the best ways to de-stress - and it makes me appreciate all the more the beautiful part of the world that I am proud to call home.   I'm also passionate about good food and great wine, gins and whiskies. We are blessed with such a fantastic natural larder here in the Highlands; the fish, meat, vegetables, cheese and eggs we can source - without stepping foot in a supermarket - are second to none. I'm not a massive drinker, but sitting round the table to enjoy a well-prepared dinner and a few glasses with close friends and family is as good as life gets. And I'm passionate about my family. Our daughters have now both left home and are at Glasgow University. They couldn't be more different in personality and interests, but they are great friends and have regular sleepovers at each other's places. Receiving a photo of the pair of them tucked in together and grinning like fools is a sight that makes my heart glad. Who inspires you?   My mum. She was a head teacher of a wee rural school in Aberdeenshire until she retired, and was regularly praised for the transformative way she communicated with pupils, parents and her staff. Latterly was asked to work with less successful schools in the region to help them raise their standards. She didn't just do her job well, she did it brilliantly. I was brought up to believe that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Mum is the embodiment of that.   Even in retirement she's still going; running hill-walking groups, and out in all weathers checking and re-checking routes. Our fridge is covered in postcards from her adventurous holidays - to China, Mongolia, Peru, Antarctica, St Kilda and more. I hope I have half her energy at her age!   What advice would you give to the younger you?    To tell someone -anyone - I wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter. I grew up with a passion for TV and radio, but assumed everyone else did too. It didn't occur to me that an ordinary girl from an ordinary Scottish town could ever work in the media, so I didn't mention it. Because I was clever at school I was pushed towards law - if I hadn't been squeamish it might have been medicine or dentistry - those are the routes my brother and sister followed. The BBC were running apprenticeships then, but they didn't come with a degree, so that was off the table. I'd also tell myself to start a pension plan, and to stick with singing. And not to worry about being chucked - he wasn't right for me anyway.   What advice do you have for women who might want to get into broadcasting?   Volunteer for hospital radio and (and I hate to say this) move to Glasgow, Manchester or London. If you see a job you fancy that you are qualified for, go for it. Be keen, be tenacious. Turn up early for everything, volunteer for everything, and make yourself indispensable. There are fewer roles than ever before in radio; networking some shows among groups of commercial radio stations is cutting down the number of opportunities for new broadcasters to get on air, and even BBC opportunities are fewer with cutbacks. If broadcasting really is your passion, then go for it, but be prepared to work hard for little reward in order to get your breaks.   A woman that you admire and why?   Dame Sue Black, Professor of Forensic Anthropology and Anatomy at Dundee University. Sue was brought up in the Highlands and has become one of the foremost forensic anthropologists in the world. I interviewed her last spring for Connect Magazine and was struck by her drive and professionalism in a very difficult and sensitive area.  She also has a wicked sense of humour, and is immensely good company. I got as far as checking out the necessary qualifications to apply to study under her, but I don't have Higher Biology.   Do you have any goals yet to be achieved?   I'd love to present Woman's Hour on Radio 4, and to take over from Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs. Beyond that a column in The Guardian would be nice, and then there's my novel...the one I haven't started yet!    And to finish......................   • Favourite film? Love Actually. I watch it and cry, even when it's not Christmas. • Favourite book? The Book Thief; Markus Zusak •  Favourite song? Gladys Knight and the Pips: Midnight Train to Georgia •  Favourite place? Achmelvich Beach. Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Maggie Blyth - Inverness Business Woman http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/703/Maggie-Blyth-Inverness-Business-Woman http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/703/Maggie-Blyth-Inverness-Business-Woman My name is Maggie Blyth and I have a boutique of the same name on Union Street in Inverness stocking an eclectic mix of niche designers from across Europe and beyond. I am also a partner with Susan Stewart in Maggie & Suzi, a boutique which resells preloved designer clothing for women and we have recently opened Stewart & Blyth, a similar version for men.  I grew up in and around Falkirk and left at 17 to study History at Edinburgh University. I graduated from there and blundered through several jobs from selling jewellery on the beaches in Ibiza to doing core analysis in Aberdeen before being employed by the Burton Group. There I learned my grounding in retail and went on to open shops for the newly formed Principles chain. I also worked briefly for Next and Viyella before returning to the Burton Group.  It was very hard work and long hours but allowed me to buy my first flat in Edinburgh when I was 24. Wish I had hung on to it as it only cost me £15500! Wonder what it would be worth now. At 30 I returned to university to do a post grad and soon after got married. My then husbands' job is what brought us up north. I worked again for the Burton Group before starting my family and ultimately having my own boutique in Beauly for 11 years and then moving to Inverness.  I am inspired every day by my lovely family and my work colleagues. They are all amazing inspirational and creative people. There is a huge amount of local creative talent in the Highlands that is largely untapped. These people continually amaze me with their ideas.  Growing up I really admired Barbara Hulaniki - the founder of Biba. She had a tragic childhood but started her own business selling one style of dress from her London flat and went on to create a little empire. She is still now a highly sought after interior designer in America. Her ability to constantly reinvent herself never ceases to amaze me. I work 6 days a week so have little time for hobbies and interests other than my business. However I love to do things with my daughters whether it's girly nights in or going for walks or to the cinema. Time spent with them is always fun. The local live music scene is also usually vibrant.https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=maggie%20blyth%20boutique Photo Credit - Alison White Photography Wed, 9 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT Information and Support Worker http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/681/Information-and-Support-Worker http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/681/Information-and-Support-Worker Following a tremendous response to our advertisement, the role of Information and Support Worker has now been filled by Lara McDonald. Watch this space for an update soon. Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 GMT VACANCY - Information and Support Worker http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/675/VACANCY-Information-and-Support-Worker http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/675/VACANCY-Information-and-Support-Worker The WEA Women@Work project is currently seeking an Information and Support Worker.Based in InvernessFixed Term to 30th June 2017Part time 21 hours per week Salary: Grade C (pro rata) £23,550-£25,286Closing date for applications is by 12.00 noon, Monday 8th August 2016. Interviews will be held on 15th August 2016 in Inverness. The Workers' Educational Association is a charity and the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of adult education.  We are a charity with a strong sense of social purpose, dedicated to bringing great teaching into the heart of local communities.  All our educational provision is developed with this in mind and our courses can be set up almost anywhere - for example in clubs, community centres, village halls, schools, pubs or where people work.Funded by the Scottish Government's Voluntary Action Fund, the WEA's Women@Work project promotes gender equality and addresses the gaps, challenges and needs faced by women in the Highlands in relation to employment, economic activity and gender segregation.  The project provides education, training and information for women to help them understand issues, develop skills and become more able to speak out at home, at work and in their community.  The Women@Work Information and Support Worker will assist the Project Co-ordinator in leading and developing project delivering learning opportunities and information through 7 local area networks across the Highlands. This is an opportunity for a motivated and dynamic individual, who has excellent communication and networking skills who is able to work in a dedicated small team to deliver on the equalities agenda by improving women's position in both public representation and also employment opportunities in the Highlands. Please click here to download an application pack.   Please click on the link below to download an application form.   The WEA is committed to promoting Equality and Diversity in its employment practices and service delivery. Mon, 1 Aug 2016 00:00:00 GMT Local Network Coordinators Wanted http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/669/Local-Network-Coordinators-Wanted http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/669/Local-Network-Coordinators-Wanted The Workers' Educational Association Women@Work project aims to dismantle the barriers caused by rural isolation, poverty, and inequality, and to give women a voice in the home, at work and in the community.The role of Local Network Coordinators ensures that equality and diversity happens at grass roots level. From April 2015 - June 2016, over 400 women took part in 42 events across the Highlands. This is your opportunity to play an active role in this exciting and dynamic project. You will be: interested in women's equality issues; a good team player; enthusiastic. You will have: excellent communication skills; good working knowledge of social media, particularly Facebook.This is a part-time position, approx 80 hours per annum.  For an application pack, email Lorraine Thomson, WEA W@W Project Coordinator: l.thomson@weascotland.org.uk For more information call 01463 710577 or 07748 623452Application packs must be requested by 21 July 2016   Wed, 6 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Women@Work gets go ahead http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/666/WomenWork-gets-go-ahead http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/666/WomenWork-gets-go-ahead The WEA Women@Work Project has received funding to continue for another year. This is great news as it allows us to continue to support and respond to the needs of women in the Highlands. Over the next few weeks we’ll be reviewing the past fifteen months and planning for the year ahead.  Watch this space for more news.The photograph shows participants of the recent How To Maximise Your Media Coverage workshop. Thu, 23 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT Women@Work - The Big Picture http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/661/WomenWork-The-Big-Picture http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/661/WomenWork-The-Big-Picture Between now and the end of June 2016, Women@Work has nine exciting, interesting and relevant events happening across the Highlands.  These workshops and talks are the final instalment of a series of events we have been rolling out since the beginning of April. They have been devised in response to what women in the Highlands have told us they need and want so that they may develop the skills and confidence required to reach their potential at home, in the workplace and in the wider community. With events taking place in Auchtertyre, Wick, Brora, Ullapool, Nairn, and Inverness, the picture looks vibrant, but this is only a glimpse of the whole. There is a chance that the Women@Work project will end on 30 June, after which there will be no more of these events. The hard-working team at Women@Work sincerely hopes we can carry on with this worthwhile and fulfilling project, but in the meantime may we urge you to show your support for the project and for yourselves by attending these excellent events while they are available. Lorraine Thomson Women@Work Project Coordinator Mon, 23 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT Nairn, Boundaries in Business, Tuesday May 31st 10am - 1pm Nairn Community Centre. http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/658/Nairn-Boundaries-in-Business-Tuesday-May-31st-10am-1pm-Nairn-Community-Centre http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/658/Nairn-Boundaries-in-Business-Tuesday-May-31st-10am-1pm-Nairn-Community-Centre A workshop for women wishing to cultivate trust and integrity in their public lives.Learn how to be heard.Explore the ethics of consent in business.How to engender trust.How to say no.Workshop led by C.C.O'hara of Sigil Arts.This course is free. Refreshments included. Tue, 17 May 2016 00:00:00 GMT The WEA Woman@Work Survey 2015/16 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/635/The-WEA-WomanWork-Survey-201516 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/635/The-WEA-WomanWork-Survey-201516 The WEA Woman@Work Survey 2015/16.  Complete this survey and you could win a £25:00 shopping voucher.  The draw will take place on the 28th March. Click here to access survey Mon, 7 Mar 2016 00:00:00 GMT MOVERS AND SHAKERS Six workshop sessions based on Inspiring Women of the Highlands and following on from the research on the Suffrage Campaign in the Highlands. http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/625/MOVERS-AND-SHAKERS-Six-workshop-sessions-based-on-Inspiring-Women-of-the-Highlands-and-following-on-from-the-research-on-the-Suffrage-Campaign-in-the-Highlands http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/625/MOVERS-AND-SHAKERS-Six-workshop-sessions-based-on-Inspiring-Women-of-the-Highlands-and-following-on-from-the-research-on-the-Suffrage-Campaign-in-the-Highlands MOVERS AND SHAKERS,   Six workshop sessions based on Inspiring Women of the Highlands and following on from the research on the Suffrage Campaign in the Highlands.    Thursday 14th January – 17th March 2016.  Spectrum Community Centre, (Farraline Park, Inverness), 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, x 6 sessions FREE Wed, 6 Jan 2016 00:00:00 GMT WEA - Scotland LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT WORKER: NORTH SCOTLAND http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/620/WEA-Scotland-LEARNING-AND-DEVELOPMENT-WORKER-NORTH-SCOTLAND http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/620/WEA-Scotland-LEARNING-AND-DEVELOPMENT-WORKER-NORTH-SCOTLAND WEA Scotland LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT WORKER: NORTH SCOTLAND - Fantastic opportunity starting early 2016 for a home based Learning & Development Worker for the SDS Personal Assistant Network Project in North Scotland.  This exciting project requires an enthusiastic and energetic person able to engage with and build a network of Personal Assistants (Self Directed Support) across this extensive region .  Application packs and Application Form.  Further information is available on www.wea.org.uk/jobs Mon, 14 Dec 2015 00:00:00 GMT Learning and Development Worker – North East Scotland based in Aberdeen http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/617/Learning-and-Development-Worker-North-East-Scotland-based-in-Aberdeen http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/617/Learning-and-Development-Worker-North-East-Scotland-based-in-Aberdeen Learning and Development Worker – North East Scotland based in Aberdeen.  Fixed Term to 31st December 2016 Part time 14 per week, Pro rata 0.4 of full time Salary: Full time : £23,550 - £27,022 per annum.  The Workers’ Educational Association is a charity and the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education.  We are a charity with a strong sense of social purpose, dedicated to bringing great teaching into the heart of local communities.  All our educational provision is developed with this in mind and our courses can be set up almost anywhere – for example in clubs, community centres, village halls, schools, pubs or where people work. To download application pack, more information  L&D Application Form L&D PDF Application Pack Please click on hyperlinks.  Mon, 23 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT World AIDS Day Community Event 2015 Eden Court Theatre, Inverness Tuesday 1st December 1.30pm-6.30pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/615/World-AIDS-Day-Community-Event-2015-Eden-Court-Theatre-Inverness-Tuesday-1st-December-1.30pm-6.30pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/615/World-AIDS-Day-Community-Event-2015-Eden-Court-Theatre-Inverness-Tuesday-1st-December-1.30pm-6.30pm World AIDS Day Community Event 2015 - Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.  Tuesday 1st December 1.30pm-6.30pm.  For more information about the event, please contact Rachel on 01463 711 585 or highland@waverleycare.org.  Click here for more information. Mon, 16 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Scottish Interfaith Week Inverness Interfaith Group Invites you on Saturday, 28th November 2015. To our Programme on the theme of - ‘Care for the Environment’ - at Raigmore Hospital Recreation Hall http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/616/Scottish-Interfaith-Week-Inverness-Interfaith-Group-Invites-you-on-Saturday-28th-November-2015.-To-our-Programme-on-the-theme-of-Care-for-the-Environment-at-Raigmore-Hospital-Recreation-Hall http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/616/Scottish-Interfaith-Week-Inverness-Interfaith-Group-Invites-you-on-Saturday-28th-November-2015.-To-our-Programme-on-the-theme-of-Care-for-the-Environment-at-Raigmore-Hospital-Recreation-Hall Scottish Interfaith Week Inverness Interfaith Group  Invites you on Saturday, 28th November 2015.  To our Programme on the theme of - ‘Care for the Environment’  - at  Raigmore Hospital Recreation Hall.   2 00.- 2.30              tea/coffee/soft drink on arrival  2.30- 3.45       Workshop on  Ecology / Environmental Considerations with Iona Finlayson – who, after completing an honours degree in Ecology, worked for the Forestry Commission, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).  For more information click here. Mon, 16 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Community Self Management Development Fund 2015/16 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/612/Community-Self-Management-Development-Fund-201516 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/612/Community-Self-Management-Development-Fund-201516 Community Self Management Development Fund 2015/16.  This fund is designed for community and third sector groups to support the growth, development or establishment activities which providing services, activities or care for people with long term health conditions, to include older people.  The activities should help to keep them active and socially engaged while developing confidence and awareness on an individual level about their own health and wellbeing.  For more informationplease click here. Mon, 9 Nov 2015 00:00:00 GMT Online Language awareness course for front-line staff. 23 November - 4 December 2015 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/610/Online-Language-awareness-course-for-front-line-staff.-23-November-4-December-2015 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/610/Online-Language-awareness-course-for-front-line-staff.-23-November-4-December-2015 Online Language awareness course for front-line staff.  23 November - 4 December 2015.  Language / communication barriers are usually the principal difficulties encountered when delivering services to migrant communities. This short language awareness course explores simple but effective ways of making spoken and written English more understandable to non-native speakers.  It is aimed at front-line staff from a variety of public and voluntary service providers. This course is delivered online over a period of two weeks. Participants are invited to download weekly tasks and take part in online forum discussions. Tue, 27 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMT WEA Lunchtime Talks - ILA Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/601/WEA-Lunchtime-Talks-ILA-Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/601/WEA-Lunchtime-Talks-ILA-Inverness WEA Lunchtime Talks - ILA Inverness 4 New Autumn lunchtime talks.   Wed, 23 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT WEA Scotland ESOL Learning &Development Worker Highlands and Islands http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/598/WEA-Scotland-ESOL-Learning-Development-Worker-Highlands-and-Islands http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/598/WEA-Scotland-ESOL-Learning-Development-Worker-Highlands-and-Islands  Starting Salary £23,145 (pro-rata); 14 hours per week The post holder will facilitate and  co-ordinate the ESOL Providers Group and provide workforce development through a range of online, face-to-face and blended learning CPD training opportunities to ensure an effective link between ESOL community and college course ESOL tutors.   The post holder will co-ordinate and co-deliver ESOL courses and keep up to date with ESOL developments and practice.  The post will be based in the WEA office in Inverness, David Whyte House, 57 Church Street, Inverness, IV1 1DR.  PVG Scheme membership is desirable.   Application packs: Email m.kolpak@weascotland.org.uk  or telephone 0131 226 3456, or download: www.wea.org.uk/jobs or www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/news   Closing date: Monday, 14th September 2015. Thu, 3 Sep 2015 00:00:00 GMT Researching Women’s Suffrage in Sutherland at Brora Learning Centre 2, 9, 16, 23 June 10am-1pm FREE. All Welcome http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/569/Researching-Womens-Suffrage-in-Sutherland-at-Brora-Learning-Centre-2-9-16-23-June-10am-1pm-FREE.-All-Welcome http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/569/Researching-Womens-Suffrage-in-Sutherland-at-Brora-Learning-Centre-2-9-16-23-June-10am-1pm-FREE.-All-Welcome Researching Women’s Suffrage in Sutherland. Brora Learning Centre. 2, 9, 16, 23 June 10am-1pm FREE. All Welcome.  Many men and women campaigned for women’s suffrage in Sutherland – though there is almost nothing published about this. Join us to research and explore this exciting topic, using newspaper accounts and other sources.   Mon, 1 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Breaking the Mould Writing Competition http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/566/Breaking-the-Mould-Writing-Competition http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/566/Breaking-the-Mould-Writing-Competition Are you fired up by the achievements of women’s activism and their role in public life, working life and the suffrage movement over the last 100 years?  Then put your pen to paper or finger to the keyboard!There are 4 categories:-  Poetry (no more than 40 lines) Short story (max. 2000 words)  Flash Fiction (max. 500 words) Documentary  (1000 – 2000 words) click here for more information Tue, 26 May 2015 00:00:00 GMT Inverness Spectrum Centre - Blooming Marvellous a summer course in mindfulness. 6 sessions Tues1.00 pm-3.00 pm. June 2nd – July 7th 2015 Venue: Spectrum Community Centre Inverness. http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/556/Inverness-Spectrum-Centre-Blooming-Marvellous-a-summer-course-in-mindfulness.-6-sessions-Tues1.00-pm-3.00-pm.-June-2nd-July-7th-2015-Venue-Spectrum-Community-Centre-Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/556/Inverness-Spectrum-Centre-Blooming-Marvellous-a-summer-course-in-mindfulness.-6-sessions-Tues1.00-pm-3.00-pm.-June-2nd-July-7th-2015-Venue-Spectrum-Community-Centre-Inverness Blooming Marvellous - a summer course in mindfulness, 6 sessions on Tuesdays:1.00 pm-3.00 pm. June 2nd – July 7th 2015 Venue: Spectrum Community Centre Inverness.  We might not manage that dream holiday on a sunny beach, but peace and quiet are still within our reach. In this six-week course in meditation, movement and relaxation we will practice some simple ways to calm the mind and relax the body, helping to reduce stress and increasing a sense of well-being and happiness. Mon, 18 May 2015 00:00:00 GMT Local Network Co-ordinators WANTED in Inverness, Caithness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/562/Local-Network-Co-ordinators-WANTED-in-Inverness-Caithness-Nairn-Badenoch-Strathspey http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/562/Local-Network-Co-ordinators-WANTED-in-Inverness-Caithness-Nairn-Badenoch-Strathspey Local Network Co-ordinators WANTED in Highland areas:- Inverness/Caithness/ Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.  Do you have:- An interest in women’s equality issues e.g. women in public life, women in business and in enterprise?   Excellent organisational and people skills?  Good working knowledge of social media platforms e.g. Facebook/Twitter? This vacancy is a paid seasonal post.  Contract of 80 hours per year, term time only, approx 8 Months x 10 hours.   Mon, 18 May 2015 00:00:00 GMT Inverness - National Social Enterprise Summit - 10th and 11th June at the Kingsmills Hotel Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/555/Inverness-National-Social-Enterprise-Summit-10th-and-11th-June-at-the-Kingsmills-Hotel-Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/555/Inverness-National-Social-Enterprise-Summit-10th-and-11th-June-at-the-Kingsmills-Hotel-Inverness Inverness - National Social Enterprise Summit - 10th and 11th June at the Kingsmills Hotel Inverness.  "50 years of supporting businesses and communities" This two day event will bring together social entrepreneurs, public sector and commercial representatives from across the UK to discuss the challenges and opportunities for rural social enterprises in achieving longterm sustainability. Wed, 13 May 2015 00:00:00 GMT Womens and Economic Activity Conference Brochure http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/552/Womens-and-Economic-Activity-Conference-Brochure http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/552/Womens-and-Economic-Activity-Conference-Brochure Over a hundred women booked onto our annual conference demonstrating how relevant this topic was. One of the most exciting aspects for us was that forty young women from five Highland secondary schools attended. You can download the full report here Wed, 25 Mar 2015 00:00:00 GMT Nairn Community Centre - Come along and Celebrate International Women’s Day Monday 9 March 2015 10.00—12.00 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/542/Nairn-Community-Centre-Come-along-and-Celebrate-International-Womens-Day-Monday-9-March-2015-10.0012.00 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/542/Nairn-Community-Centre-Come-along-and-Celebrate-International-Womens-Day-Monday-9-March-2015-10.0012.00 Nairn Community Centre - Come along and Celebrate International Women’s Day Monday 9 March 2015  10.00—12.00.  A talk will be given by Hilary Lawson of Inverness Fair Trade, about the  positive impact of Fair Trade on Women around the world. Learn a bit more about International Women’s Day and how it all came about.  Meet up with other women for a fun morning of learning and discussion Talks and activities to learn about Free Trade and learn about yourself.  FREE, Please book online to secure a place. Tue, 10 Feb 2015 00:00:00 GMT Public Appointments - It's what you know that makes the difference http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/518/Public-Appointments-Its-what-you-know-that-makes-the-difference http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/518/Public-Appointments-Its-what-you-know-that-makes-the-difference Public Appointments - It's what you know that makes the difference.  Welcome to the Scottish Government website for Public Appointments. In every aspect of life in our country - from education and healthcare, to justice and the environment - public bodies have a huge role to play. These public bodies need board members who reflect Scottish society - people from all walks of life. With the right skills, coupled with a little time and commitment, you'll have an opportunity to deliver ministerial policy and develop key strategies.  Please click here for more information Tue, 4 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Almost 13,000 new Modern Apprenticeship places http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/519/Almost-13000-new-Modern-Apprenticeship-places http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/519/Almost-13000-new-Modern-Apprenticeship-places Almost 13,000 new Modern Apprenticeship places.  On course to meet 25,000 target.  Almost 13,000 people have started a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) this year – more than half of the annual target number.  The figures have been published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) who work with employers and training providers to support MA places, paying a contribution towards the costs of training.  During the first half of the financial year 12,993 people have started an MA – 52 per cent of the annual target of 25,000 new starts each year.  Click here to read more Tue, 4 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Jo Swinson MP Minister for Women and Equalities, announces Shared Parental Leave http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/502/Jo-Swinson-MP-Minister-for-Women-and-Equalities-announces-Shared-Parental-Leave http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/502/Jo-Swinson-MP-Minister-for-Women-and-Equalities-announces-Shared-Parental-Leave Welcome to the October edition of the Women’s Engagement Newsletter. As Minister for Women and Equalities, my priority is to ensure the government is delivering fairness for women across the UK. I have recently returned from maternity leave myself, so a personal highlight of the last few months has been the announcement of shared parental leave. This is an important milestone in our drive to modernise the workplace and tackle the obstacles preventing women from reaching their full potential. We are enabling mothers and fathers to share their leave and pay if they wish, extending the right to request flexible working to all employees, and providing tax-free childcare provisions from 2015 and extended childcare support for 2 year olds from lower income households. Any couple receiving the happy news that they are due to have a baby from 5 April onwards will be able to share the care of their child in the way that suits them best. The new shared parental leave can be taken at the same time, allowing both parents to stay home together for up to six months after the birth of their child. This is a significant step towards changing workplace culture and ending the automatic presumption that parenthood means women taking time out of the workplace.  It will also allow fathers to feel more confident in asking for time off for childcare and give them more time to bond with their children.  Employers, too, will benefit from lower staff turnover and a more flexible, motivated workforce.  There are expected to be 285,000 working couples a year that will be eligible for shared parental leave. In years to come, I think this will prove to be a pivotal step in the development of true gender equality and more flexible, workable life choices for both women and men. Mon, 6 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT The UK joins forces with 24 other countries to push forward women’s economic and political empowerment http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/503/The-UK-joins-forces-with-24-other-countries-to-push-forward-womens-economic-and-political-empowerment http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/503/The-UK-joins-forces-with-24-other-countries-to-push-forward-womens-economic-and-political-empowerment The UK joined forces with 24 other countries on 22 September to push forward women’s economic and political empowerment.  At an event in New York, hosted by the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls Valerie Jarrett, the UK was welcomed as the newest member of the Equal Futures Partnership.  Nick Dyer, Director General at the Department for International Development, outlined the UK Government’s plans, which include measures to tackle the gender pay gap and increase the number of women in senior positions in the public and private sectors.  UK representatives will be given the opportunity to share these plans with the other member countries and hear their views and ideas on how women can play an equal role in the economy and society as a whole. Read more about this on Twitter @Govt_Women or #EqualFutures. Mon, 6 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT WEA -Inverness Local Association - Autumn Lunchtime Talks 2014 - Inverness Library (The Reading Room), Farraline Park, Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/498/WEA-Inverness-Local-Association-Autumn-Lunchtime-Talks-2014-Inverness-Library-The-Reading-Room-Farraline-Park-Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/498/WEA-Inverness-Local-Association-Autumn-Lunchtime-Talks-2014-Inverness-Library-The-Reading-Room-Farraline-Park-Inverness WEA Inverness Local Association Lunchtime Talks for Autumn 2014.  Inverness Library (The Reading Room),  Farraline Park, Inverness.  Please see the poster for dates and times.  Click here to download poster Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT WEA Conference 2014: Women in Public Life Video http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/496/WEA-Conference-2014-Women-in-Public-Life-Video http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/496/WEA-Conference-2014-Women-in-Public-Life-Video This is a link to the WEA Conference 2014: Women in Public Life Video.  Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Nairn- Women’s Suffrage in the Spotlight - Nairn Community Centre - Wednesdays:10:00 am – 1:00 pm, 10th Sept – 26th Nov http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/493/Nairn-Womens-Suffrage-in-the-Spotlight-Nairn-Community-Centre-Wednesdays1000-am-100-pm-10th-Sept-26th-Nov http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/493/Nairn-Womens-Suffrage-in-the-Spotlight-Nairn-Community-Centre-Wednesdays1000-am-100-pm-10th-Sept-26th-Nov Nairn- Women’s Suffrage in the Spotlight - Nairn Community Centre -  Wednesdays:10:00 am – 1:00 pm, 10th Sept – 26th Nov  In the years leading up to World War 1, women and men throughout the Highlands campaigned vigorously to gain the vote for women.  This story still remains to be researched and told.  This new course will explore women's suffrage in Nairn, using information gathered so far in other courses from suffrage journals and Inverness papers, but also investigating local newspapers and archives, and attempting to find memories and photographs. Download poster here Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT Inverness - Women’s Suffrage in the Spotlight (part 11) Inverness Library, Mon 8th,15th, 22nd Sept - 13th, 20th, 27th Oct http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/494/Inverness-Womens-Suffrage-in-the-Spotlight-part-11-Inverness-Library-Mon-8th15th-22nd-Sept-13th-20th-27th-Oct http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/494/Inverness-Womens-Suffrage-in-the-Spotlight-part-11-Inverness-Library-Mon-8th15th-22nd-Sept-13th-20th-27th-Oct Inverness - Women’s Suffrage in the Spotlight (part 11) Inverness Library, Mon 8th,15th, 22nd Sept - 13th, 20th, 27th Oct.  In the years leading up to World War 1, women and men throughout the Highlands campaigned vigorously to gain the vote for women.  This story still remains to be researched and told.  Join us to continue to investigate women’ suffrage in Inverness, pulling this material together for the first time.  Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT STUC welcomes the publication of the Working Together Review http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/491/STUC-welcomes-the-publication-of-the-Working-Together-Review http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/491/STUC-welcomes-the-publication-of-the-Working-Together-Review The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has welcomed the publication of the Working Together Review: Progressive workplace policies in Scotland and the potential for extending collective bargaining and for democratising workplaces and industry.  Speaking following the statement to the Scottish Parliament of Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment Angela Constance welcoming the report, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary and member of the Working Together Review Group said:  Click here to download the document Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:00:00 GMT Breaking the Mould Newsletter http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/482/Breaking-the-Mould-Newsletter http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/482/Breaking-the-Mould-Newsletter Breaking the Mould's, Edinburgh Heritage Trail: Seeking Out the Hidden Heroines of Edinburgh.  Click here to download Tue, 8 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT The Scottish Government - £4.5 million boost for young skills and jobs http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/474/The-Scottish-Government-4.5-million-boost-for-young-skills-and-jobs http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/474/The-Scottish-Government-4.5-million-boost-for-young-skills-and-jobs The Scottish Government - £4.5 million boost for young skills and jobs.   Response to the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce.  More jobs and training opportunities will be created as the Scottish Government takes forward recommendations of a transformational report on developing Scotland’s young workforce.  The final report by the Wood Commission was published earlier this month and made a number of recommendations aimed at establishing world class vocational education in Scotland. In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment Angela Constance announced that a total of £4.5 million will be invested in the following activity:Click here for more info Mon, 7 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT Education Working For All! http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/471/Education-Working-For-All http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/471/Education-Working-For-All  Education Working For All! Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce Final Report.  CHAIRMAN’S FOREWORD - I have pleasure in presenting the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce Final Report.  Tue, 1 Jul 2014 00:00:00 GMT Grantown-on Spey, Pancake Brunch Saturday 5th July 10:30 - 13:00 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/470/Grantown-on-Spey-Pancake-Brunch-Saturday-5th-July-1030-1300 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/470/Grantown-on-Spey-Pancake-Brunch-Saturday-5th-July-1030-1300 Following the success of our last pancake brunch  -- we’re doing it again!   Lots of people asked for it to be a regular offering and the pancakes were so delicious, served with bacon and maple syrup, strawberries and crème freche,  bananas and chocolate  or smoked salmon  (for example).  So off we go again! Please join us from 10-.30 until 1pm this Saturday for a lovely brunch in good company! Mon, 30 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Invernesss - Spectrum Centre on Thursday 26th June between 3pm and 5pm, WEA Scotland - Future of the UK and Scotland Independence referendum http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/465/Invernesss-Spectrum-Centre-on-Thursday-26th-June-between-3pm-and-5pm-WEA-Scotland-Future-of-the-UK-and-Scotland-Independence-referendum http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/465/Invernesss-Spectrum-Centre-on-Thursday-26th-June-between-3pm-and-5pm-WEA-Scotland-Future-of-the-UK-and-Scotland-Independence-referendum September 18th 2014 will be a momentous day for democracy in Scotland.  On that day the people of Scotland, for the first time in over 300 years, will have the opportunity to decide whether to stay part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or to become an independent, self-governing, country. Are you still undecided? Do you want the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues?   Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Cromarty- Archaeological Project - 21/22 June 28/29 June 10-4 1 day or 2 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/467/Cromarty-Archaeological-Project-2122-June-2829-June-10-4-1-day-or-2 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/467/Cromarty-Archaeological-Project-2122-June-2829-June-10-4-1-day-or-2 Cromarty- Archaeological Project - 21/22 June 28/29 June 10-4 1 day or 2.  An exciting opportunity to uncover more of cromartys medieval past. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Education Working For All! Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce Final Report Tuesday, June 3, 2014 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/462/Education-Working-For-All-Commission-for-Developing-Scotlands-Young-Workforce-Final-Report-Tuesday-June-3-2014 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/462/Education-Working-For-All-Commission-for-Developing-Scotlands-Young-Workforce-Final-Report-Tuesday-June-3-2014 Education Working For All! Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce Final Report Tuesday, June 3, 2014  ISBN: 9781784125233.  Final report from the Commission for Developing Scotland's Young Workforce. Contains 39 recommendations following extensive consultations with leading figures in education, business and equalities groups.   xecutive SummaryThe report focuses on significantly enhancing Scotland's vocational education to achieve the same acclaimed status as that enjoyed by Scotland's higher education sector. There is also a focus on the importance of business and industry working with schools and colleges as a key factor in ensuring young people are more prepared for employment and better informed in career choice. There are also a number of recommendations on encouraging and supporting more employers to recruit more young people. The report also contains a number of recommendations on advancing equalities within education and youth employment Wed, 4 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT Inverness - Ways into Wellbeing - 1pm-3pm a 6 course weeks from 2nd – 30th June, The Spectrum Centre Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/461/Inverness-Ways-into-Wellbeing-1pm-3pm-a-6-course-weeks-from-2nd-30th-June-The-Spectrum-Centre-Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/461/Inverness-Ways-into-Wellbeing-1pm-3pm-a-6-course-weeks-from-2nd-30th-June-The-Spectrum-Centre-Inverness A chance to try out some simple ways of feeling happier and healthier in the middle of the ‘hale clamjamferry’ of all life brings to us.  Each week we will learn some simple but effective practices that can support our well-being · deep relaxation to help ease stress and tension · gentle movement to keep joints supple and improve circulation · mindfulness meditation to help quieten the mind and calm anxiety · drawing on inspiration to help build our resilience · exploring creative pathways for self expression Wed, 28 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Dingwall - Hand Drumming Rhythm School - The Greenhouse High Street 2nd June 7pm 9pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/458/Dingwall-Hand-Drumming-Rhythm-School-The-Greenhouse-High-Street-2nd-June-7pm-9pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/458/Dingwall-Hand-Drumming-Rhythm-School-The-Greenhouse-High-Street-2nd-June-7pm-9pm CLASSES TAKE PLACE AT THE GREENHOUSE, HIGH STREET, DINGWALL  7pm - 9pm Starting Monday, 2nd June thereafter 7pm-9pm every Monday: 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th June & 7th July. For more information or to book a place, please contact: W.E.A. office, Inverness on 01463 710577 or email: s.mitchell@weascotland.org.uk Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Grantown-on-Spey - YMCA Youth Drop-iin Centre, Grow Force Project http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/459/Grantown-on-Spey-YMCA-Youth-Drop-iin-Centre-Grow-Force-Project http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/459/Grantown-on-Spey-YMCA-Youth-Drop-iin-Centre-Grow-Force-Project A new project to give young people volunteering opportunities and to get some valuable work done in the community, Mon, 26 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Petitioning Future President of the European Commission http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/454/Petitioning-Future-President-of-the-European-Commission http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/454/Petitioning-Future-President-of-the-European-Commission Petitioning Future President of the European Commission - European Commission President: Establish 2016 as European Year to End Violence against Women and Girls.  To date, the EU has no binding legislation regarding violence against women. This is critical, as violence against women is a human rights issue and affects approximately 45% of all women across Europe. An estimated one-fifth of women in the EU suffer from violence within the home and more than one in ten women is a victim of sexual violence involving the use of force. Seven women die every day from domestic violence in the EU.  The EU must therefore raise awareness on the issue and affirm its political commitment to end violence against women. By establishing a European Year to end violence against women and girls, the EU would play a leading role in raising awareness on violence against women, and at the same time propose concrete measures to act against the perpetuation of violence against women. EU Years are key policy tools to develop strong policies and involve all actors on a specific issue. The EP has adopted on 25 February 2014 the legislative resolution of MEP Parvanova, demanding EU action to combat violence against women, including an EU Year. This is why the European Women’s Lobby and its 2000 member organisations in 31 European countries want to see such year be established in 2016, and we need to prove to the EU institutions that everyone cares about it and that we want a Europe free from violence. http://www.change.org/petitions/european-commission-president-barroso-establish-now-a-european-year-to-end-violence-against-women-and-girls Mon, 19 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Argyll - Getting Your Message Across Using Social Media - Argyll College, Lorne Street, Lochgilphead - 23rd June 2014, 10.30 – 1.30 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/451/Argyll-Getting-Your-Message-Across-Using-Social-Media-Argyll-College-Lorne-Street-Lochgilphead-23rd-June-2014-10.30-1.30 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/451/Argyll-Getting-Your-Message-Across-Using-Social-Media-Argyll-College-Lorne-Street-Lochgilphead-23rd-June-2014-10.30-1.30 This practical session will: ·             Take you step-by-step through the process of setting up a Facebook account/page ·             Go through the security measures available to assure your online safety ·             Show you how to collect contacts and information and share with others ·             Introduce you to the women@work Facebook page ·             Introduce you to Linkedin and Twitter  Tutor - Maggie Irving, Education Support Officer, Argyll and Bute Council Wed, 14 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Ross-shire, 2 Day Business Start-Up Course for Women at Tulloch Castle Hotel, Dingwall, 5th & 6th June 9:30-16:30 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/450/Ross-shire-2-Day-Business-Start-Up-Course-for-Women-at-Tulloch-Castle-Hotel-Dingwall-5th-6th-June-930-1630 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/450/Ross-shire-2-Day-Business-Start-Up-Course-for-Women-at-Tulloch-Castle-Hotel-Dingwall-5th-6th-June-930-1630 Over the 2 Days you will understand the need for a Business Plan in starting and running a successful business, be able to describe your business and learn how to present your plan. You will be able to manage a profit and loss account, produce a cash flow and understand the main sources of finance. You will be able to describe the role of marketing in the business, identify your potential customers and understand the marketing mix. You will be able to identify and complete the market research required to support your business plan.   Tue, 6 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Inverness Highlife Highland - 'Every Object Tells a Story' Inverness Museum & Art Gallery - Tuesday 13th May 2014 15:00 - 16:00 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/449/Inverness-Highlife-Highland-Every-Object-Tells-a-Story-Inverness-Museum-Art-Gallery-Tuesday-13th-May-2014-1500-1600 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/449/Inverness-Highlife-Highland-Every-Object-Tells-a-Story-Inverness-Museum-Art-Gallery-Tuesday-13th-May-2014-1500-1600 Highlife Highland invite you to an exhibition ' Every Object tells a Story' Inspired by the museums archaeological collections this exhibition brings new insights perspectives and creative writing to millennia of our shared human story Mon, 5 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Free Online Language awareness course for front-line staff http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/447/Free-Online-Language-awareness-course-for-front-line-staff http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/447/Free-Online-Language-awareness-course-for-front-line-staff Language / communication barriers are usually the principal difficulties encountered when delivering services to migrant communities.This short language awareness course explores simple but effective ways of making spoken and written English more understandable to non-native speakers. It is aimed at front-line staff from a variety of public and voluntary service providers. This course is delivered online over a period of two weeks. Participants are invited to download weekly tasks and take part in online forum discussions. Mon, 5 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT Dingwall - Women’s Suffrage in the Spotlight Introductory talk: Highland Family Heritage Festival Dingwall Academy Saturday: 26th April 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/446/Dingwall-Womens-Suffrage-in-the-Spotlight-Introductory-talk-Highland-Family-Heritage-Festival-Dingwall-Academy-Saturday-26th-April-12.30-pm-1.30-pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/446/Dingwall-Womens-Suffrage-in-the-Spotlight-Introductory-talk-Highland-Family-Heritage-Festival-Dingwall-Academy-Saturday-26th-April-12.30-pm-1.30-pm In the years leading up to World War 1, women and men throughout the Highlandcampaigned vigorously to gain the vote for women.  This story still remains to be researched and told.  When we first started looking at suffrage in the Highland there was no book or article to consult.  But by looking at newspapers and journals we found the opposite to be true.  For example, in October 1913, over 500 people attended a rally in Dingwall alone.  But most of these people lobbied for change by law rather than militant protest, so their story has been forgotten.  This course will be investigating women’s suffrage in Inverness to look at newspapers and suffrage journals and to collect memories and photographs. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Dingwall - Living it up Community Road Show - Community Centre Dingwall -Tuesday 22nd April between 1:00pm and 4:00pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/445/Dingwall-Living-it-up-Community-Road-Show-Community-Centre-Dingwall-Tuesday-22nd-April-between-100pm-and-400pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/445/Dingwall-Living-it-up-Community-Road-Show-Community-Centre-Dingwall-Tuesday-22nd-April-between-100pm-and-400pm Dingwall - Living it up Community Road Show - Tuesday 22nd April between 1:00pm and 4:00pm.  Come in for a coffee and a chat.  Lots of information available, with refreshments. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Inverness - Loch Ness Spring Craft Fair-Craigmonie Centre Drumnadrochit - Saturday 26th April 11:00am 4:00pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/444/Inverness-Loch-Ness-Spring-Craft-Fair-Craigmonie-Centre-Drumnadrochit-Saturday-26th-April-1100am-400pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/444/Inverness-Loch-Ness-Spring-Craft-Fair-Craigmonie-Centre-Drumnadrochit-Saturday-26th-April-1100am-400pm Inverness - Loch Ness Spring Craft Fair-Craigmonie Centre Drumnadrochit - Saturday 26th April 11:00am 4:00pm.  featuriing crafters and artists from Loch Ness and beyond.  With stalls demonstrations, exhibitions, refreshments and our famous raffle.  free entry to the public. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT National Youth Work Strategy http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/443/National-Youth-Work-Strategy http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/443/National-Youth-Work-Strategy National Youth Work Strategy - 'Our ambitions for improving the life chances of young people in Scotland' Education Scotland is delighted to present the national Youth Work Strategy, 'Our ambitions for improving the life chances of young people in Scotland'. This Strategy recognises youth work as a key and distinctive component of the Scottish Government's present and future agenda for young people.  Included within the Strategy is an implementation plan, which provides a detailed action plan for the first two years. It outlines the responsibilities for each of the agencies involved in taking the Strategy forward. Through time, progress and information updates will be produced to keep implementation fresh and current.  Education Scotland is grateful to Scottish Government, and to YouthLink Scotland and its members, for their support in developing 'Our ambitions for improving the life chances of young people in Scotland', and for working with us to facilitate the national discussion which shaped the final strategy.  To download file please click on link below.http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/communitylearninganddevelopment   Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Nairn Badenoch &Strathspey-Cairngorms Nature Festival - 17,18 May 2014 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/441/Nairn-Badenoch-Strathspey-Cairngorms-Nature-Festival-1718-May-2014 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/441/Nairn-Badenoch-Strathspey-Cairngorms-Nature-Festival-1718-May-2014 A Park-wide fun event for all ages 17-18 MAY 2014 Come and enjoy the unique nature of the Cairngorms National Park,  • Walks • Talks • Games & Activites Visit www.cairngorms.co.uk for more info Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Get ready to vote - 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote for the first time. http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/442/Get-ready-to-vote-16-and-17-year-olds-will-be-able-to-vote-for-the-first-time http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/442/Get-ready-to-vote-16-and-17-year-olds-will-be-able-to-vote-for-the-first-time September is getting closer and in the upcoming referendum 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote for the first time.   It is important that young people are prepared to cast their vote by being registered to vote by 2 September.  Learners should also be encouraged to think critically about the information they are reading and hearing, and advice on how to enable them can be found in theCurriculum for Excellence briefing paper no. 14.  Education Scotland’s Political Literacy website contains a wealth of resources which can be used to equip young people for their participation in a democratic society. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Argyle and Bute - Benderloch by Oban -Wool Festival 17th - 19th July http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/440/Argyle-and-Bute-Benderloch-by-Oban-Wool-Festival-17th-19th-July http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/440/Argyle-and-Bute-Benderloch-by-Oban-Wool-Festival-17th-19th-July Argyle and Bute - Benderloch by Oban -Wool Festival 17th  - 19th July traditional fibre skills ancient to modern.  Come and join us and share or passion for shearing, fleeces, carding, dying, knitting, weaving, felting etc. Tue, 8 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Food and Film Festival-Oban Monday April 28th 11:00am - 3:00pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/437/Food-and-Film-Festival-Oban-Monday-April-28th-1100am-300pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/437/Food-and-Film-Festival-Oban-Monday-April-28th-1100am-300pm Food and Film Festival-Oban Monday April 28th 11:00am - 3:00pm Invites you to the Launch of Oban Perfect.  This day is for accomodation providers, producers of local foods, owners of local business and people who want to get into the sector. Tue, 8 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Argyle and Bute - Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern - Saturday 19th April 2 shows at 4pm and 7:30pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/438/Argyle-and-Bute-Craignish-Village-Hall-Ardfern-Saturday-19th-April-2-shows-at-4pm-and-730pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/438/Argyle-and-Bute-Craignish-Village-Hall-Ardfern-Saturday-19th-April-2-shows-at-4pm-and-730pm Jeremiah Reynolds draws us into this very real and human story with a performance of total and intimate authenticity’ Must See The Stage.  ‘Beautifully believable, there was a genuine tear in my eye’ **** Three Weeks.  ‘use the time to take a deep breath and reconnect with what it really means to be told a story: it will be ninety minutes well spent.’ ****Broadway Baby .  ‘Jeremiah Reynolds holds us in the palm of his hand for the entire show’ ****SGfringe.  Jeremiah Reynolds Nominated for The Stage Award for Acting Excellence ‘Best Solo Performer’ Tue, 8 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Argyle and Bute - Spring into Easter Achnabreac forest car park, Monday 21st April 12:00 noon - 2;00pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/439/Argyle-and-Bute-Spring-into-Easter-Achnabreac-forest-car-park-Monday-21st-April-1200-noon-200pm http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/439/Argyle-and-Bute-Spring-into-Easter-Achnabreac-forest-car-park-Monday-21st-April-1200-noon-200pm Argyle and Bute - Spring into Easter Achnabreac forest car park, Monday 21st April 12:00 noon - 2;00pm.  Easter fun trail, face painting, craft making while you meet the forest bunny and beaver.  All activites are free easentail booking for a car space see poster Tue, 8 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Creative Writing Story: -Community Complex, Millburn Academy Inverness - 28th April - 16th June http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/436/Creative-Writing-Story-Community-Complex-Millburn-Academy-Inverness-28th-April-16th-June http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/436/Creative-Writing-Story-Community-Complex-Millburn-Academy-Inverness-28th-April-16th-June This spring come and join a new creative writing course lead by  Caroline Deacon, local writer.  Held over six weeks, we will be looking at the idea of “story”.  What is a story and how do you go about creating one?  Come along if you’ve been writing for a long time of if you’ve never set pen to paper before – there will be something for everyone! Classes are held Monday evenings.  They last for two hours and the cost is £30.00 for the whole set. Concessions will be available.For more information or to book a place please contact:W.E.A. office, Inverness on 01463 710577 or email: s.kerr@weascotland.org.uk or caroline@carolinedeacon.com for more details  Thu, 3 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Needed on a Journey: - Voices from the Highland Diaspora. http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/433/Needed-on-a-Journey-Voices-from-the-Highland-Diaspora http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/433/Needed-on-a-Journey-Voices-from-the-Highland-Diaspora Needed on a Journey: - Voices from the Highland Diaspora.  Free Lunchtime Lecture, Thursday 8th may, 1:00pm - 2:pm Wed, 2 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Hunting for Lost Crafts http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/434/Hunting-for-Lost-Crafts http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/434/Hunting-for-Lost-Crafts Hunting for Lost Crafts.  A series of five FREE workshops, 10:30am - 1:30pm, 25th June -  2nd, 23rd and 30th July, 27th August.Come behind the scenes and work with our curators, learn about the crafts associated with and inspired by Highland, hunting, shooting and fishing, throughout time. Wed, 2 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Needed on a Journey: - Creating an exhibition for the 'Year of Homecoming' Newtonmore, 10:30am - 3:30pm, Saturdays, 31st May - 14th June and Thursday 3rd July http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/432/Needed-on-a-Journey-Creating-an-exhibition-for-the-Year-of-Homecoming-Newtonmore-1030am-330pm-Saturdays-31st-May-14th-June-and-Thursday-3rd-July http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/432/Needed-on-a-Journey-Creating-an-exhibition-for-the-Year-of-Homecoming-Newtonmore-1030am-330pm-Saturdays-31st-May-14th-June-and-Thursday-3rd-July Free workshops at Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore, 10:30am - 3:30pm,  Saturdays, 31st May - 14th June and Thursday 3rd JulyCome 'Behind the Scenes' to explore the museum's collections. Wed, 2 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Scottish Women's Employment Summit Update http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/428/Scottish-Womens-Employment-Summit-Update http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/428/Scottish-Womens-Employment-Summit-Update This update was taken from the report created by and for Angela Constance, Minister of Youth Employment Anne Douglas, National Secretary, Prospect."When the Scottish Government and the STUC held the Women's Employment Summit in September 2012, discussion covered a wide range of areas. Since that time, a Ministerial Strategic Group on Women and Work has met regularly to consider actions underway and what more can be done at all levels to enable women to fulfil their potential in the labour market. While we know many issue still remain, progress is being made in a number of areas. With over 68% of women in paid work today, in Scotland women are represented in every sector in the labour market and at every level. Women's contribution to the economy through unpaid work must also be recognised. In the run up to International Women's Day on 8th March, we wanted to update you on some of the work that has been undertaken since the Summit. We hope you find this useful. Please remember that this involves us all. If you have positive ideas for change, or resources to add, please let us know." Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:00:00 GMT WEA Women@Work Annual Conference 2014: Women in Public Life http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/420/WEA-WomenWork-Annual-Conference-2014-Women-in-Public-Life http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/420/WEA-WomenWork-Annual-Conference-2014-Women-in-Public-Life The aim of the conference was to inspire and encourage women to participate in public life.   (The photo is of Rhoda Grant with Cath Findlay) Each speaker spoke from their own experiences, some were extremely moving and all showed grace, dignity and compassion for others.  All were very well recieved and greatly appreciated.  The workshops provided a chance to consider how to move forward into working in public life.  The conference was well attended and the feedback recieved was very positive. Some of the comments are noted below "Every session was useful, thoroughly enjoyed all your speakers!""This was a fantastic day and it was great to hear all the stories about people who managed to make huge changes to improve other people's lives.""Very inspiring and emotional - it makes me appreciate I'm alive. Thank you""The whole day has been excellent" In response to the question "What will you use from today and how?" we received the following comments" I will think about applying for a public appointment"" I will be affirmative and assertive""Look for public appointment that is suitable""Motivated to get involved - not to blame too much work to do - get on and do""Taking a fresh look at what I am still able to offer since retirement"and many more. What do we mean by "Public Life"? "Public Life" can be considered as an activity that is undertaken to benefit society e.g. making a contribution in a community whether in local community or at national or international level. This includes the formal definition of Public Appointments as in influencing politics but also includes such activity as a volunteer member of a Board of Directors, volunteer in sport, Community Committee, charity organiser etc.  Please download conference brochure here. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT WEA Women@Work Annual Conference 2014: Women in Public Life http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/381/WEA-WomenWork-Annual-Conference-2014-Women-in-Public-Life http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/381/WEA-WomenWork-Annual-Conference-2014-Women-in-Public-Life The conference was well attended and the feedback recieved was very positive.  Some of the comments are noted below"Every session was useful, thoroughly enjoyed all your speakers!""This was a fantastic day and it was great to hear all the stories about people who managed to make huge changes to improve other people's lives.""Very inspiring and emotional - it makes me appreciate I'm alive.  Thank you""The whole day has been excellent"In response to the question "What will you use from today and how?" we received the following comments" I will think about applying for a public appointment"" I will be affirmative and assertive""Look for public appointment that is suitable""Motivated to get involved - not to blame too much work to do - get on and do""Taking a fresh look at what I am still able to offer since retirement"and many more.Rhoda Grant MSP spoke of her experience as a women in Public Life. Rhoda was born in Stornoway, brought up on the south shores of Loch Torridon in Wester Ross and now live in Inverness.  Rhoda has worked in both the public and private sectors in the Highlands and was also employed for a number of years with the public sector trade union Unison.The aim of the conference was to inspire and facilitate women to participate in public life.  What do we mean by "Public Life"?   "Public Life" can be considered as an activity that is undertaken to benefit society e.g. making a contribution in a community whether in local community or at national or international level.   This includes the formal definition of Public Appointments as in influencing politics but also includes such activity as a volunteer member of a Board of Directors,  volunteer in sport,  Community Committee, charity organiser etc.We are pleased to announce four speakers (including Rhoda Grant MSP)Lorna Norgrove : Linda Norgrove Foundation. Lorna will speak of her experiences including the setting up of the Foundation in memory of their eldest daughter Linda. Linda was an aid worker in Afghanistan, was kidnapped and subsequently died in a failed rescue attempt, Lorna and her husband started the Linda Norgrove Foundation in Linda's memory, to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan, a country which was very close to Linda's heart. Lorna was born in Lochinver and will be travelling to the conference from the Western Isles where she now lives.Lisa Buchanan: Chief Executive, Cantraybridge College.  Lisa will speak of her experience in her role at the College. "Taking the lead: first time experiences as a female Chief Executive"Lisa took on the role of Chief Executive at Cantraybridge College in July 2011 and has faced some important challenges in her role. Lisa will share what she has learned, how the organization recruited new Board members and how Cantraybridge is making a difference to the lives of young people with disabilities. Mags Duncan: Principal Sports Development Manager, High Life Highland.  Mags holds the post is the which provides leadership for the development of sport in schools by way of the Active Schools programme as well as through very many coaches and volunteers. In her personal life Mags coaches white water kayaking.  Mags  has recently passed the highest level in canoeing coaching (BCU level 5) and is the second Scottish woman to attain it.   She is an enthusiastic inspirational, expert on coaching women and has had a paper published on coaching women in a white water environment.   Mags is the Chair of the Scottish Women's Paddle Symposium which runs an event bi annually in Findhorn. The symposium is coached for and by women with the aim to help women paddlers reach the next level.  Mags is a UKCC coach educator for paddlesport, freelance for Glenmore Lodge and most importantly a mum of 2 children.     There are 3 workshops being run in the morning and these are repeated in the afternoon.  They are  Learning about Public Appointments: "Take Your Seat on the Board"  This workshop will provide you with an overview of what public bodies and public appointments are, the opportunity to hear directly from a Board Chair about her experiences and a short exercise looking at how best to sell yourself as a potential Board member. This workshop will be run by Melanie - Public Appointments Officer (Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland), Anne MacLean OBE - Convener of the Mobility and Access Committee Scotland, and Tracey Finnigan - Diversity and Public Appointments Policy Advisor, Public Appointments and Diversity Centre of Expertise, Scottish Government Illuminated Letters: A workshop to enable you to write an embellished letter to a woman you admire run by Glasgow Women's Library.  Since March 2013, Glasgow Women's Library and the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow have invited women across the world to write illuminated letters of love and honour to an inspirational woman. All the letters received will be exhibited at the Gallery of Modern Art in March 2014. At these workshops, you can explore our treasure chest of gems, embellishments and other craft and writing materials and create your own illuminated letter. We can help you write it and you don't need any artistic or craft experience. We have compiled a list of 100 women, however, we would be delighted if you wish to write a letter to a local woman or another woman who has been important in your life. If your heroine is not on our list, it would be great if you could bring a picture and a short biography. Moving Forward: Confidence in Public Life.   An Introduction to Life Coaching with Elsie Normington. An Introduction to Life Coaching with Elsie Normington. Elsie describes her story of learning to become an active lobbyist for disability and participate in public dialogue to secure better services for those who "cannot speak for themselves". She is an accomplished Life Coach, successful Community Development Officer and runs two large Singing Groups. She may touch on multi-tasking and work life balance! You will be inspired by her endless enthusiasm for life. There will be music provided by Green Ghosts a local female duo.  Thu, 13 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT Time to Shine: National Youth Art Strategy http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/379/Time-to-Shine-National-Youth-Art-Strategy http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/379/Time-to-Shine-National-Youth-Art-Strategy Published on 8 November 2013, Scotland's first National Youth Arts Strategy (Time to Shine) sets out a vision and key recommendations to enable Scotland's children and young people to flourish and achieve, in and through the arts and creativity.  It is clear there has been a meaningful dialogue with young people and that there are key messages.  I quote one young stakeholder "Scotland would be the best place to live. Creativity would be more important than violence and crime" About the Strategy Time to Shine is centred around three key themes: Creating and sustaining engagement;Nurturing potential and talent;and Developing infrastructure and support.More information and access to the document can be found at  http://www.creativescotland.com/explore/national-youth-arts-strategy Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT Shetland Women@Work Feasibility Study http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/377/Shetland-WomenWork-Feasibility-Study http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/377/Shetland-WomenWork-Feasibility-Study Earlier this year we were approached by Shetland Islands Council's equality officer regarding our work around gender segregation. Shetland Islands Council had identified a gap in their provision. We were able to provide information on activities that W@W had carried out and had discussed briefly the possibility of working together. In October the WEA Educational Development Manager for Inverness Sue Mitchell and I flew to Shetland. The visit allowed us to connect with local projects, build partnerships and assess the current provision. Also identify potential staff and participants. The feasibility study will look at the possibility of employing a Local Network Co-ordinator in Shetland to organise W@W events and link with the main W@W project. Horizontal and Vertical SegregationShetland has a booming local economy with jobs in the oil, gas and manufacturing sector. These jobs are mainly filled by men. Unemployment stands at a very low 1.5%. With a shortage of local skilled workers employers have resourced workers from outside the area. There are 2,000 men; living on 4 floating accommodation barges in the local area, another barge is on route. In Shetland there are a lack of jobs in the public sector, and with cutbacks on the horizon, more of these jobs will go. Many of the public sector jobs are part time and are staffed by women working in the traditional roles of cleaning, catering, caring, cashiering and clerical (5C's). Women are also well represented in the Shetland craft industries. The new jobs cannot be filled by women as the local women are not equipped with the skills to take up many of these new vacancies. It was felt that Shetland women had many transferable skills, but were currently unaware of them. Horizontal segregation (Horizontal segregation arises when men and women do different types of work) is an equality issue for the Shetland Islands Council. Vertical segregation (where women are under-represented in the better-paid and more senior positions).The Shetland Islands Council has 5 Executive Directors, 3 are women, 1 man and the other post is currently being advertised. There are 22 Shetland Islands Councillors only 3 are women. Only one of the women has her picture on the Shetland Islands Council website http://www.shetland.gov.uk/about_your_councillors/ Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan Consultation http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/375/Inner-Moray-Firth-Local-Development-Plan-Consultation http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/375/Inner-Moray-Firth-Local-Development-Plan-Consultation The Highland Council has prepared the Inner Moray Firth Proposed Local Development Plan which provides policies and site allocations to guide development, Known as the Proposed Plan, it represents the Council's view for how the Inner Moray Firth area should develop over the next 20 years, and will now be subject to public consultation between 1 November and 13 December. Guidance on how to read the plan and make comment is available here, there is also a short video guide on how to read the plan found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR1bPfAIPOQHow to Make Comment Make comments on the proposed plan Go to the Highland Council webpage at http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourenvironment/planning/developmentplans/imfldp.htmTell them your name and contact details (and if applicable the name of the group/organisation you are representing);Tell them which part(s) of the Plan you like and do not like, what changes you wish to be made, and the reasons why; andClick "Submit Comments". We will acknowledge receipt of your comments.Further help is available by watching this short video or by reading this guide to the Proposed Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan found at  http://www.highland.gov.uk/yourenvironment/planning/developmentplans/imfldp.htm Thu, 14 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT Fair Trade Bazaar: Inverness Town House, 23rd November http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/374/Fair-Trade-Bazaar-Inverness-Town-House-23rd-November http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/374/Fair-Trade-Bazaar-Inverness-Town-House-23rd-November Fairtrade Bazaar Saturday 23rd November 201310:30am - 3:00pmInverness Town House Inverness There will be a wide variety of Fairtrade craft goods, food items,Christmas cards and wrapping paper on sale as well as a chance toenjoy a fairly traded cup of tea or coffee. Hope to see you there! For more information contact Hilary Lawson on 01463 241252. Thu, 7 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT Challenge Poverty Week 13-19 October http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/364/Challenge-Poverty-Week-13-19-October http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/364/Challenge-Poverty-Week-13-19-October What is Poverty?Relative PovertyThis is where some people's low income means that they struggle to participate in ordinary economic, social and cultural activities.  In Scotland relative poverty is determined as those earning less than 60% of the antional average.  While not as extreme as absolute poverty, relative poverty is still serious and harmful.Absolute PovertyThis is when people lack the basic necessities for survival.  In Scotland absolute poverty is deemed as earning less than 60% of what the average wage was in 1998/99.  This determines whether those who are on the lowest income have seen arise in what they take home in real terms over the last 10 years.In-Work PovertyThe working poor are those individuals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses.  This group contains non-working househeld members such as children and non-working partners.Persistent PovertyThis is defined as being in relative poverty in three out of the last four consecutive years.  This measure is desinged to detect people who are consistently in poverty over a long period, rather than those who dip in and out of poverty.Fuel PovertyThe usual definition of fuel poverty is the need to spend 10% or more of your income to pay for fuel bills.  Therefore around 900,000 households in Scotland - more than one in three - are estimated to be in fuel poverty and unable to afford adequate warmth in the home.Definitions of poverty from Third Force News. Oxfam Scotland say "At the moment the wealthiest households in Scotland are 273 times richer than the poorest.There are 8 people on unemployment benefit for every full time vacancy advertised.Only 22% of Scots feel like they can influence decisions in their local area.Oxfam Scotland's Our Economy report is a blueprint for a new kind of economy that is the servant of the people and meets the needs of everyone in Scotland.For too long, we have been obsessed with economic growth, without asking about the quality of that growth, and who benefits from it. That's led to massive and growing inequality.We have a jobs crisis. There simply isn't enough employment for people. And it's not just about the number of jobs - it's about the quality of the work on offer. Too many people are working uncertain hours that make family life impossible. And too many are on low-wages, which mean that work is no longer a guaranteed route of poverty." Taken from the Oxfam Scotland blog found at http://www.oxfam.org.uk/scotland/blog/2013/08/help-us-build-our-economy Find the Oxfam's report "Our Economy:Towards a new prosperity" at the link http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/our-economy-towards-a-new-prosperity-294239   Tue, 15 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT The Power of Adult Learning: Changing Lives, transforming communities - Edinburgh 23rd October http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/363/The-Power-of-Adult-Learning-Changing-Lives-transforming-communities-Edinburgh-23rd-October http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/363/The-Power-of-Adult-Learning-Changing-Lives-transforming-communities-Edinburgh-23rd-October Power of Adult Learning​Changing lives, transforming communities Wednesday, 23rd October, 2013John McIntyre Conference Centre, Edinburgh University#poweroflearningFive national organisations have come together to host an exciting national conference, giving learning professionals an opportunity to re-connect with the Power of Adult Learning. Dyslexia Scotland, Lead Scotland, Learning Link Scotland, the Scottish Community Development Centre and the Workers' Educational Association Scotland need your help to address the widespread concern that adult learning has dropped down the political agenda. It's time to make sure that the real value of adult learning, and its power to help people become confident, resilient and autonomous contributors, is heard loud and clear. It's time for an acknowledgement that investment in learning for adults is fundamental to building resilient, thriving communities, and to hastening the country's journey back to economic prosperity. SPEAKERS Henry B Tam, policy advisor, political theorist, activist and programme director at Cambridge University with a unique and inspiring perspective on The Power of Adult Learning Aileen Campbell MSP and Minister for Children and Young People Dyslexia Scotland Ambassador Paul McNeill, Regional Manager for the Scottish Football AssociationFor more information go to the website http://fhussai6.wix.com/power-of-adult-learn Thu, 10 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT First Female Conductor of the Last Night of the Proms http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/355/First-Female-Conductor-of-the-Last-Night-of-the-Proms http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/355/First-Female-Conductor-of-the-Last-Night-of-the-Proms First Female Conductor of the Last Night of the Proms American Marin Alsop ends the rousing event with a call to "all young women (and all young people) believe in yourselves, follow your passion and never give up because you then create a future filled with possibility."The link below provides the opportunity to watch the second part of the Last Night and Marin's speach (at 1:24 into the video which you can scroll along to find) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039vkd8 Mon, 9 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMT WEA Inverness Celebrates the Centenary of Suffragette March http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/331/WEA-Inverness-Celebrates-the-Centenary-of-Suffragette-March http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/331/WEA-Inverness-Celebrates-the-Centenary-of-Suffragette-March 39 women, two men and a dog (called Flora) walked a mile around Inverness in celebration of the marchers 100 years ago championing the right of women to vote.WEA Educational Development Manager for WEA Highland said, "In these very challenging economic times, when people are worried about not just getting a job but also keeping it - it is important to celebrate how far we have come along the path to equality. Of course, there is still a way to go- but we can achieve this by thinking and working out creative solutions together and on our feet - so join us on Friday 26th July and walk a mile to celebrate the enormous contribution made by women and men and Emily Davidson in particular to the progress of universal suffrage." Tue, 6 Aug 2013 00:00:00 GMT Memorable Tales: A History of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) in the Highlands http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/325/Memorable-Tales-A-History-of-the-Workers-Educational-Association-WEA-in-the-Highlands http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/325/Memorable-Tales-A-History-of-the-Workers-Educational-Association-WEA-in-the-Highlands As part of a Scotland-wide initiative WEA Highland is going to have the opportunity of exploring and capturing its own history through a grant made available through "All our Stories" from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Highland is home to two local associations: the WEA Inverness and Area Local association and the WEA North Highland Association, which have over 75 voluntary members between them. As a leading provider of adult education, which takes place in a wide variety of settings in local communities as well as places of work, the WEA has over the years provided hundreds of people with that first step on the ladder by helping them to re-engage with their aspirations and discover hidden talents as well as gain new ones. As a result self-confidence blossoms and employment and life long learning pathways open up. Perhaps you are one of those people who have benefited from a WEA opportunity- or perhaps you would like to become one! Tue, 25 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMT Gender Equality Index 2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/315/Gender-Equality-Index-2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/315/Gender-Equality-Index-2013 Gender Equality Index 2013 shows UK is ranked 5th in terms of gender equality. The UK is exceeding in Health and Money spheres but falls short in Power. The Power measurement examines the difference between men and women's representation in the political and economic spheres. For more information on UK measures go to http://eige.europa.eu/content/gender-equality-index#/?country=UK Thu, 13 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMT Memorable Tales: A History of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) in the Highlands http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/308/Memorable-Tales-A-History-of-the-Workers-Educational-Association-WEA-in-the-Highlands http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/308/Memorable-Tales-A-History-of-the-Workers-Educational-Association-WEA-in-the-Highlands Memorable Tales: A History of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) in the Highlands As part of a Scotland-wide initiative WEA Highland is going to have the opportunity of exploring and capturing its own history through a grant made available through "All our Stories" from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Highland is home to two local associations: the WEA Inverness and Area Local association and the WEA North Highland Association, which have over 75 voluntary members between them.   As a leading provider of adult education, which takes place in a wide variety of settings in local communities as well as places of work, the WEA has over the years provided hundreds of people with that first step on the ladder by helping them to re-engage with their aspirations and discover hidden talents as well as gain new ones. As a result self-confidence blossoms and employment and life long learning pathways open up.   Perhaps you are one of those people who have benefited from a WEA opportunity- or perhaps you would like to become one! Either way please come and join us to find out how you can get involved by coming along to:  Tuesday:    May 21st    Dingwall Community Centre                6:00 pm - 7:00 pm       or  Thursday:  May 30th   Inverness Library  (Reading Room)   12:30 pm - 1:30 pm   For further information please contact Sue Mitchell at WEA on 01463 710577                The WORKERS' EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in Scotland (number SCO39239) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 2806910). Registered address is WEA, 4 Luke Street, London, EC2A 4XW Tue, 14 May 2013 00:00:00 GMT Women@Work STEM Conference 2013 Follow Up http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/303/WomenWork-STEM-Conference-2013-Follow-Up http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/303/WomenWork-STEM-Conference-2013-Follow-Up The WEA Women@Work Conference - A Bright Future for Women in STEM was a success.  Now we want to build on the interest raised by the conference.  For more information about the conference follow the link http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/news/article/279/A-Bright-Future-for-Women-in-STEM-Inspirational-Annual-Conference-held-at-Eden-CourtA links page has been developed on this website and found at http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/links to provide the contact details of the key partners involved in the conference.If you would like further information on this topic please contact Jennifer Boyle on 01463 710577.  Jennifer will point you in the right direction for information if she cannot provide it. Wed, 8 May 2013 00:00:00 GMT The Village Vintage Gathering - Fashion Show http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/296/The-Village-Vintage-Gathering-Fashion-Show http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/296/The-Village-Vintage-Gathering-Fashion-Show The Village, a sustainable space in Inverness city centre, allows people to start out in business by offering low rents. It encourages small, independent retailers to work together and promote their business. They are hosting a fashion show at Eden Court, Inverness on the 31st May at 7pm. Please follow this link. http://www.eden-court.co.uk/whats-on/shows/the-village-vintage-gathering-fashion-show Wed, 1 May 2013 00:00:00 GMT The Women's Business and Enterprise Conference 9th May 2013, Crowne Plaza, Glasgow http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/289/The-Womens-Business-and-Enterprise-Conference-9th-May-2013-Crowne-Plaza-Glasgow http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/289/The-Womens-Business-and-Enterprise-Conference-9th-May-2013-Crowne-Plaza-Glasgow More information and booking details at: www.wbeconference.co.uk. Join in on Twitter @wbeconference and @wescotlandChaired by influential Scottish broadcaster, Kaye Adams, the event will feature keynote speakers, a panel debate, a choice of workshops designed to suit different business needs, and an exhibition bringing the delegates a range of organisations who provide support and services for women in business.  The conference will, for the first time in more than eight years, bring together female business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a range of organisations and agencies providing support and services. Participants will share their stories, join in the dialogue for change and learn from each other - with the unique opportunity to contribute to the forthcoming consultative draft Scottish Framework for Women's Enterprise. For much more information and to book tickets, please visit www.wbeconference.co.uk(Media and general enquiries should be directed to Fiona Fraser, Business Development Manager, Women's Enterprise Scotland: fiona@wescotland.co.uk)Women@Work have 5 subsidised tickets @£30 to give away please email c.findlay@weascotland.org.uk Wed, 24 Apr 2013 00:00:00 GMT A Bright Future for Women in STEM - Inspirational Annual Conference held at Eden Court http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/279/A-Bright-Future-for-Women-in-STEM-Inspirational-Annual-Conference-held-at-Eden-Court http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/279/A-Bright-Future-for-Women-in-STEM-Inspirational-Annual-Conference-held-at-Eden-Court A Bright Future for Women in STEM - Inspirational Annual Conference held at Eden Court Dr Heather Reid OBE (Heather the Weather) inspired 85 Highland women to take the route of a career in Science and/or be "informed consumers" during her keynote address at the WEA Women@Work Conference held at Eden Court.   Diane Rawlinson (Chief Executive and Principal at Inverness College UHI) told of her experience which was encouraging to many of the delegates.  Her insights were encouraging and thought provoking.85 women attended the conference and the response was overwhelmingly positive with comments such as  Encouraged me to really "go for it" and get some degrees (Motivated me) to have confidence in pursuing STEM careers (Gave me) knowledge about different jobs, made me think about what career path to go down (Provided me with) Contact for assertiveness classes for pupils (I will) try to raise greater awareness of women in science to pupils and teachers The inspirational stories from the speakers and the importance of inspiring female role models.  Really pleased to see the involvement of young women (and girls from schools)  All ages found this conference relevant and got something from it." The conference was a success due to the partnership working that took place between WEA Women@Work Advisory Group members and staff, Dr Heather Reid,STEM Highland, Inverness College UHI, and the workshop providers and stall holders which included- Harper and Macleod LLP - Scottish Resource Centre for Women in SET - Global Highland- Lifescan Scotland- Energy North- Open University- SignpostThis meant the conference was delivered through partnership working with organisations across public, private and voluntary sectors.Although it was a busy exam time for S5/6 school pupils young women from 9 Highland schools attended the day's activities.  Many of them spoke of their appreciation and said they were motivated and inspired by the speakers and workshops.  They were also very keen to further their involvement with the STEM Highland Ambassador connections either now or in the future.Our WEA Women@Work Project Co-ordinator says"The enthusiasm of the speakers, work shop providers and stall holders set a supportive and encouraging tone throughout the day which culminated in a question and answer session where young delegates as well as the not so young were confident enough to air their views.  The delegates were vocal of their motivation to further explore a future within STEM industries."   Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMT A Bright Future for Women in STEM: Things are hotting up! http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/278/A-Bright-Future-for-Women-in-STEM-Things-are-hotting-up http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/278/A-Bright-Future-for-Women-in-STEM-Things-are-hotting-up A Bright Future for Women in STEM: Conference Update.  There are still some places left if you want to come along - book online see "Events" The conference looks set to be a good opportunity for women to be further inspired if at all interested in a career in the Science, Engineering or Technolgy.Our own Cath Findlay, Project Co-ordinator of WEA Women@Work Project will be starting off the day with a welcome and introduction to the project and conference.There will be talks by Heather Reid (Heather the Weather) and Diane Rawlnson (Inverness College UHI Principal and Chief Executive) providing inspiration and passing on their valuable experience.There will be 5 participative workshops available - you will be asked to select which two you would like to attend during the registration process at 9.30am on Tuesday 26th March 2013.The Market Place will provide an opportunity to meet with- Lifescan Scotland- Open University- Scottish Resource Centre for Women in SET- Energy North- Global Highland- University of Highlands and Islands- Harper and Macleod- WEA ScotlandThe full programme will be posted to the website soon.    Thu, 14 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMT Lesley Yellowlees - International Women's Day Lecture 'The Gender Agenda in Science and Engineering', 8th March http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/275/Lesley-Yellowlees-International-Womens-Day-Lecture-The-Gender-Agenda-in-Science-and-Engineering-8th-March http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/275/Lesley-Yellowlees-International-Womens-Day-Lecture-The-Gender-Agenda-in-Science-and-Engineering-8th-March Lesley Yellowlees - International Women's Day Lecture, 8th MarchThe International Women's Day theme for 2013 is The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum' and in recognition of this theme the topic of Lesley's Lecture is 'The Gender Agenda in Science and Engineering'. The lecture is open to all and free. Doors open at 5.30pm.Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyright © The University of Edinburgh 2013. Tue, 5 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMT Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme: Funding and Support http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/272/Lloyds-Banking-Group-Social-Entrepreneurs-Programme-Funding-and-Support http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/272/Lloyds-Banking-Group-Social-Entrepreneurs-Programme-Funding-and-Support The Lloyds Banking Group Social Entrepreneurs Programme is funded by Lloyds Banking Group, with support from Nominet Trust, which is funding internet-focused projects as part of the programme. The programme will comprise comprehensive support from the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) through its innovative 'action learning' programmes. Individuals who are leading or planning to set up a project or social enterprise organisation which will create social change in the UK may apply.  Criteria must be met: Entrants must be aged 16 years or over and live in the UK The 2013 programme is being delivered in Scotland for Start Ups Wed, 27 Feb 2013 00:00:00 GMT Driving in the UK - Informative workshop in partnership with the Northern Constabulary 6th March 2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/268/Driving-in-the-UK-Informative-workshop-in-partnership-with-the-Northern-Constabulary-6th-March-2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/268/Driving-in-the-UK-Informative-workshop-in-partnership-with-the-Northern-Constabulary-6th-March-2013 Driving in the UK - Informative workshop in partnership with the Northern Constabulary 6th March 2013. Inverness College.  6pm - 7.30pm.  Booking essential through Inverness College. In partnership with the Northern Constabulary we delivered a taster workshop on Driving in the UK  to a group of ESOL students last year. After a presentation students asked lots of relevant questions about driving in the UK, car insurance, road tax, driving lessons  and more and their feedback on the event was excellent. Hence we decided to organise this seminar again on Wednesday 6th March 2013 at 6pm in Inverness College UHI, Longman Building. The event is free of charge and is open to public. Due to a limited capacity of the lecture theatre we ask people to register online.   https://invernesscollegeuhi.wufoo.com/forms/driving-in-the-uk-6-march-2013/ Thu, 21 Feb 2013 00:00:00 GMT WEA North Highland Local Association - Spring Lunchtime Talks 2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/250/WEA-North-Highland-Local-Association-Spring-Lunchtime-Talks-2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/250/WEA-North-Highland-Local-Association-Spring-Lunchtime-Talks-2013 WEA North Highland Local Association - Spring Lunchtime Talks 2013 at Dingwall Communith Centre and Perrins Centre Alness.      W.E.A. North Highland Local Association SPRING  LUNCHTIME TALKS  2013 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm DINGWALL COMMUNITY CENTRE Weds. 6th Feb. Can Leaving the Car at Home Save the World?  - Martin Sherring, Board Member of Transition Black Isle.   Martin will talk about our response to climate change and declining supplies of oil, both from a personal and a community perspective.  Dingwall Community Centre Weds. 6th March Tarradale Laid Bare: Discovering the Archaeology of a Highland Estate - Eric Grant, local independent research archaeologist.  The fertile area along the Beauly Firth has been exploited since prehistoric times.  This talk will show how the recent exciting discoveries on the Tarradale estate, from the mesolithic to medieval periods,  can be used to enrich our understanding of the past.  Dingwall Community Centre Weds. 27th March Life in the Beauly Glens - Ian MacKay, author of The Dark Mile. A conversation with Ian about his life and times, living and working in a remote part of the Highlands, before and after the flooding of the straths for hydro power.  Dingwall Community Centre PERRINS CENTRE, ALNESS Weds. 13th Feb. Forestry in our Landscape - David Robertson, Regional Manager (North Scotland) for Scottish Woodlands Ltd, will talk about how our forests change over time.  What are the factors influencing the forest cover and landscape management in Highland, now and for the future?  Perrins Centre, Alness Weds. 20th March Building Your Own History - Exploring your Family's Past - Jonathan McColl, well-known local and family historian.   Having looked into his own and other people's family trees, Jonathan's talk entices you into the grip of a detective story with a field as wide as world geography and all human history!  What will you find when you expose some dusty facts to light?  Perrins Centre, Alness Weds. 10th April. Bogs, Butterflies and Bioblitzes - Jonathan Willet, Highland Council's Biodiversity Officer.  This talk on conserving  biodiversity will cover local projects, national and international perspectives, as well as some crystal ball gazing.  Perrins Centre, Alness  (Cost £1 minimum donation for each talk - All Welcome - no need to pre-book) Please contact the office if disability access is required: 01463 710577   or email Sue Kerr on S.Kerr@weascotland.org.uk   The WORKERS' EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in Scotland (number SCO39239) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 2806910). Registered address is WEA, 4 Luke Street, London, EC2A 4XW     Thu, 17 Jan 2013 00:00:00 GMT WEA Creative Writing Course - Developing Your Ideas http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/252/WEA-Creative-Writing-Course-Developing-Your-Ideas http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/252/WEA-Creative-Writing-Course-Developing-Your-Ideas    Creative Writing Developing your Ideas Thursday 7th February 2013 - 21st March 2013 (not 14th February) 6 sessions   7:30 pm - 9:30 pm Millburn Academy, Diriebught Road, Inverness Open to everyone who is interested in writing, whether for the first time or as an old hand, this course will help you work on a single idea from beginning to end.  We will take you from an initial idea , through characterisation, plotting, pace voice and dialogue.  While we can't guarantee that you will end up with a completed novel, you should by the end, have a good skeleton of a story and know where you need to go to complete it. Each week exercises will be designed to illustrate learning points and further your project.  While the emphasis this term is on fiction, there is room also for poets, playwrights and others, so come along whether you have been writing for years or even if you have never set pen to paper. Cost: £18.00 for complete course/£3.50 per session For more information or to book a place please contact: W.E.A. office, Inverness on 01463 710577 or email: s.kerr@weascotland.org.uk   The WORKERS' EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in Scotland (number SCO39239) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 2806910). Registered address is WEA, 4 Luke Street, London, EC2A 4XW     Thu, 17 Jan 2013 00:00:00 GMT Social Enterprise Academy Events http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/247/Social-Enterprise-Academy-Events http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/247/Social-Enterprise-Academy-Events Social Enterprise Academy events over the next couple of months:Marketing Your Social Enterprise             Jan 24 & 25 - Craignure, Mull - overnight accom availableUnderstanding Social Enterprise              Jan 30 & 31 - Gairloch, Wester Ross - all welcomeGrowth though Leadership                        begins Feb 1 - Brora, Sutherland  - for young people and/or people not in workUnderstanding Social Enterprise              Feb 6 & 7 - Inverness - for community groups tackling climate changeWide Horizons                                            begins Mar 7 - Rothesay, Bute - for 16-24 yearsSocial Impact Measurement                     Apr 12 - Inverness - all welcomePre-Start Leadership                                  Apr 24 - Inverness - for people new to leadership Please extend our invitation to your contacts / clients. As always these Academy learning programmes will be great fun, stimulating but also challenging. More details and application forms from Kate on 01463 238088 or kate@theacademy-ssea.org .   Tue, 15 Jan 2013 00:00:00 GMT Highland Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum Roadshows 2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/249/Highland-Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-and-Transgender-Forum-Roadshows-2013 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/249/Highland-Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-and-Transgender-Forum-Roadshows-2013 Highland LGBT Forum and HIEF Roadshows 2013 Nairn, 25th January (Nairn Community Arts Centre) Fort William, 22nd February (Voluntary Action Lochaber, An Drochaid) Thurso, 22nd March (Caithness Horizons) HIEF has teamed up with the Highland Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Forum (Highland LGBT Forum) to bring a series of roadshows to the North of Scotland. What are the roadshows about?These free full day events (9.30am - 4.30pm) will provide a greater understanding of issues around gender, sexuality and diversity, and the problems and difficulties faced by LGBT people, as well as looking at wider issues of equality and human rights. There will also be an opportunity to meet with organisations and individuals directly involved in supporting LGBT people. The roadshows will provide an open forum to discuss ideas and experiences, gather information and consider how organisations can achieve an inclusive workplace and improve their performance. Who should attend?Organisations and individuals from across all sectors who are interested in finding out how a better understanding of LGBT issues, equality and human rights can benefit their work, support them with their legal responsibilities and improve the lives of people living and working in their communities.  How can I book my place?Places are limited, so to secure yours visit our online booking form. Further informationAlong with the Highland LGBT Forum and HIEF, there will be sessions from other organisations including: The Equality Network Stonewall Scotland Northern Constabulary National Faith Organisation (tbc) More roadshows will be announced soon, including Portree and Stornoway. Contact HIEF                                                                                                  HIEF continues to provide information, support and signposting to organisations and community groups. If you think HIEF can help you then please feel free to get in touch with us through our SCVO Information Service and your enquiry will be passed to the HIEF team:Freephone number: 0800 169 0022Email: enquiries@scvo.org.uk Or, you can get in touch with the HIEF Team directly:Matt Tyrer, HIEF Project LeaderTelephone: 01463 251 727Email: matt.tyrer@scvo.org.uk Sasha Devine, Equality Development OfficerTelephone: 01463 258 801Email: sasha.devine@scvo.org.uk Tue, 15 Jan 2013 00:00:00 GMT Scottish Women's Convention - Young Women's Achievement Award http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/243/Scottish-Womens-Convention-Young-Womens-Achievement-Award http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/243/Scottish-Womens-Convention-Young-Womens-Achievement-Award The SWC has been working with young women to ensure their voices are heard at local and national level on issues which are important to them.  In June 2012, the SWC Young Woman's Achievement Award was launched, in partnership with the STUC Youth Committee.  This award will be given to a young woman who is inspirational, supportive of others or has overcome adversity. If you know of a young woman who you believe would benefit from being nominated for this award, please complete the form.http://www.scottishwomensconvention.org/youngwomen/youngwomen Closing Date for Nominations - 31 March 2013 Tue, 8 Jan 2013 00:00:00 GMT Ann Oakley Chrystal Macmillan Lecture http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/219/Ann-Oakley-Chrystal-Macmillan-Lecture http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/219/Ann-Oakley-Chrystal-Macmillan-Lecture Ann Oakley, distinguished sociologist, feminist and writer, will be giving the annual Chrystal Macmillan Lecture on 29th November 2012.The title of Ann's Lecture is "The Invention of Gender: Social Facts and Imagined Worlds" Abstract:  The topic of this lecture is gender, social justice and forms of writing.  Ann Oakley looks back at the introduction of gender as a conceptual tool in social science, and at its birth in another discipline - that of science fiction - around the same time.  She explores the reasons why the invention of gender was necessary in both these genres and who was responsible.  Using examples from her own work on childbirth, methodology and masculinity as a policy issue, she considers different ways of writing about gender and what each has to offer in terms of understanding the most pressing social issues of our time.  Her argument is that gender equality constitutes a limited vision of our human capacity for constructing a more comfortable and less destructive world.The lecture will be held in St Cecilia's Music Hall at 6pm on 29th November 2012 with a private reception (by invitation only) afterwards in the Laigh Room.  Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 GMT Youth Trainee Finance Business Support Posts - The Highland Council http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/221/Youth-Trainee-Finance-Business-Support-Posts-The-Highland-Council http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/221/Youth-Trainee-Finance-Business-Support-Posts-The-Highland-Council Please find attached another batch of posts for the Highland Council youth trainee programme - where there is more than post available in the same location only 1 application form is required as Business Support are happy to interview for multiple posts at the same time which is great.  All the posts will offer a range of clerical duties, with one or two offering the opportunity to work in specific areas or on specific projects.  The posts are located as follows : Inverness : 3 posts in total, 1 post based at Ruthven House, Drummond Road, and 2 posts based at Church Street Drummuie, Golspie : 1 post Fort William  : 1 post Portree, Skye : 1 post Dingwall : 3 posts   The closing date is Wednesday 19th December 2012 as we are hoping to interview and recruit to the posts in early January. Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 GMT WEA Scotland Annual General Meeting - Notes by Cath Findlay http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/222/WEA-Scotland-Annual-General-Meeting-Notes-by-Cath-Findlay http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/222/WEA-Scotland-Annual-General-Meeting-Notes-by-Cath-Findlay WEA Scotland AGM Conference 1/12/12 100 Years of the WEA Edinburgh Open Programme Workshop presenters: Elizabeth Bryan, WEA Area Tutor Organizer, Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders and Jean Bareham, WEA Course Tutor Notes by Cath Findlay WEA Women@Work Project Co-ordinator Elizabeth Bryan met with our group, of twenty, informing us that the walk would illustrate the work of Patrick Geddes and his involvement in the regeneration of the Old Town of Edinburgh. Elizabeth suggested that "a walk gives you a fell for the history". The Edinburgh Open Programme had started in 2012 and provided classes in history, literature, political studies, art and creative writing.  Evaluations of the projects participants had said that the programme had impacted positively on their "health, happiness and wellbeing". Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 GMT Inspirational Women Interview: Gillian Shaw http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/213/Inspirational-Women-Interview-Gillian-Shaw http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/213/Inspirational-Women-Interview-Gillian-Shaw Name:- Gill Shaw Job title:- Solicitor with Harper Macleod LLP in Inverness Tell us a bit about your role:- I specialise in employment law and discrimination.  Day to day, I get involved in anything related to the employment relationship - drafting contracts and policies; advising on work-related issues including recruitment, business transfers, redundancy, discipline and grievance; assisting to resolve workplace disputes; and representing clients in employment tribunals when working relationships break down. Relationship to W@W e.g. Advisory group member, Network work member:- I chair the Advisory Group Committee of W@W, and have been a speaker at Network events and a Network member for many years. Hobby:- Reading and playing guitar.   What would you tell your 16 year old self? That it's ok to be different.   2.  What was your first Job?   Delivering free newspapers, when I was 15.  I was paid 1p per paper and it took a LONG time to save up for the Dr Marten boots I wanted so badly!   3.  What Woman/Women have inspired you?   My beautiful wife inspires me every day to be the best person I can be.   4.  What one change do you believe would make the biggest difference to the life of women?   Maya Angelou wrote a wonderful poem called 'Phenomenal Woman'.  I believe that if more women realised how phenomenal they are, that would make a huge difference to the life of women .... and everyone else!   5.  Who would be your ideal dinner guests?   Those who would bring along an instrument for an impromptu traditional music session after dinner.     6.  What is the best advice you have been given?   That, when things get tough, all you have to do is handle whatever's happening in any given moment.  And you'll always be able to do that.  So you'll get through it.   7.  Favourite holiday spot?   The campsite in Findhorn - for brunch in the Bakehouse; long walks on the beach with the dog; and cosy evenings in the pub, in front of the fire.        Wed, 17 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMT Twelve men walked a mile in high heels to highlight their support of ending domestic violence against women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/207/Twelve-men-walked-a-mile-in-high-heels-to-highlight-their-support-of-ending-domestic-violence-against-women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/207/Twelve-men-walked-a-mile-in-high-heels-to-highlight-their-support-of-ending-domestic-violence-against-women A Highlands and Islands MSP, John Finnie,  walked in blue and white polka dot platforms to highlight their support of ending domestic violence against women.http://www.north-star-news.co.uk/News/High-heel-jinks-with-a-sober-message-21092012.htm#.UGMNxJgS0aM.facebook  Tue, 2 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMT Science and Engineering Careers for Girls http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/208/Science-and-Engineering-Careers-for-Girls http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/208/Science-and-Engineering-Careers-for-Girls Mr Salmond said:"It is vitally important that, from an early age, girls make the right subject choices at school to allow them to progress through education and training toward the widest range of job opportunities possible."That's one reason why we are launching Careerwise Scotland. Working with industry and schools, we want schoolgirls to meet female engineers, manufacturers and scientists and know that those are options open just as much to them as to their male classmates."In the run up to today's historic summit, the issue of gender segregation in a number of specialisms has come to the fore."Some progress has been made. Since this conference was proposed, female employment has increased, rising by 12,000 over May-July, whilst female unemployment has fallen by 7,000. Female employment in Scotland is higher, and unemployment and inactivity rates are lower, than they are in the UK as a whole."But we know more has to be done."The independent Science and Engineering Education Advisory Group highlighted the need to support women into science and engineering, which is why we are establishing Careerwise Scotland with £250,000 to intensify engagement with schools and encourage more girls to consider these areas as career options. We will work closely with STUC and the industry to develop the way forward."Women seeking employment face a number of barriers, even in a modern Scotland. I want today's summit to develop a range of actions to help Scotland's women make a full contribution to growing Scotland's economy.Ms Constance added:"Helping more women into work is a top priority if Scotland's economy is to grow faster, and we are doing all we can to achieve that, including our plans to deliver the best package of flexible early learning and childcare anywhere in the UK. "The perception that some jobs 'just aren't for women' must also be overcome if we are to create a level playing field for all. We want to hear about the real life experiences of women, both around the difficulties they've faced and the successes they've had."The summit will focus on identifying a number of positive steps that public sector bodies, employers, trade unions, other partners and women themselves can take to ensure that nothing stands in their way of Scotland's women taking advantage of the job opportunities available."Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary added:"This important initiative can help remedy the current situation where far too few women in Scotland pursue careers in science and engineering. If the goals set out in the Government's economic strategy are to be achieved, it is essential that more women believe that they can have a viable and rewarding career in science and engineering."By encouraging young women to pursue such careers this initiative has the potential realise a significant economic and social dividend."Related informationCareerwise Scotland will be funded through the Opportunities for All stream of the Young Scots Fund over the next 3 years. The value of Scottish Government investment will be up to £250,000. Tue, 2 Oct 2012 00:00:00 GMT Vacancies at WEA http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/204/Vacancies-at-WEA http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/204/Vacancies-at-WEA For current vacancies at WEA go to http://www.weascotland.org.uk/index.php?/currentvacancies Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT Women in Business http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/206/Women-in-Business http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/206/Women-in-Business Multimillionaire entrepreneur Hilary Devey wants to find out why so few women make it to the top in business  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01mnwcb Wed, 26 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT Women@Work Project Outline 2012 - 2015 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/202/WomenWork-Project-Outline-2012-2015 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/202/WomenWork-Project-Outline-2012-2015 Women@Work Project Outline 2012 - 2015 Powerpoint presentation Wed, 12 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT Honour Based Violence Roadshow in Inverness 19th September http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/195/Honour-Based-Violence-Roadshow-in-Inverness-19th-September http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/195/Honour-Based-Violence-Roadshow-in-Inverness-19th-September There are still spaces available on the Honour Based Violence Roadshow in Inverness on 19th September 2012 Tue, 4 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT Scottish Parliament Seating Patterns Updated http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/191/Scottish-Parliament-Seating-Patterns-Updated http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/191/Scottish-Parliament-Seating-Patterns-Updated The Scottish Parliament Public Information and Publications team have been revising their publications to take account of changes to the Parliament's sitting patterns.  The following publications have been revised: Holyrood and Westminster – who does what? - English   How the Scottish Parliament Works –     English     Chinese                                                                         English Easyread                                                                         French                                                                         Gaelic                                                                         German                                                                         Polish                                                                         Spanish Scottish Parliament Committees – what are they and what do they do? - English What Happens in the Debating Chamber? – English                                                                                                                          You can order paper copies of these publications using our electronic publications order form.    Tue, 4 Sep 2012 00:00:00 GMT Workers' Educational Association August events - Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/189/Workers-Educational-Association-August-events-Inverness http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/189/Workers-Educational-Association-August-events-Inverness Workers' Educational Association August events - Inverness Please follow link for detailsContact WEA office for bookings (Please note this is not part of the Women at Work Project) Wed, 15 Aug 2012 00:00:00 GMT Women pack a punch at the Olympics http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/184/Women-pack-a-punch-at-the-Olympics http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/184/Women-pack-a-punch-at-the-Olympics For the first time all Olympic sports are now open for women's participation.  The London 2012 Olympics introduced women's boxing which was the last sport to introduce an Olympic women's event.Although all Olympic events are now open to women, some countries have prevented, or have made it extremely difficult for women to participate.  London 2012 will be the first Olympic Games to which every participating country sent women competitiors: Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have women competitors for the first time.  Wed, 1 Aug 2012 00:00:00 GMT Celebrating and Recognising Women's Achievements http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/182/Celebrating-and-Recognising-Womens-Achievements http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/182/Celebrating-and-Recognising-Womens-Achievements The Cabinet  Office Honours & Appointments Secretariat is keen to raise the profile of the UK Honours system with particular emphasis on obtaining more nominations for females and ethnic minorities.  What you can  do to help celebrate and recognise women's achievements: is there someone you know who deserves a medal? to find out more please click on this link.  http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/UKgovernment/Honoursawardsandmedals/TheUKHonourssystem/index.htm Thu, 28 Jun 2012 00:00:00 GMT The Spirit Level Documentary http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/181/The-Spirit-Level-Documentary http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/181/The-Spirit-Level-Documentary This is your chance: the film which will change the political debate and make the world a better place. Its message: equality works. Tax the bankers, cut the pay of the people at the top and pay more to the nurses, the cleaners, the MacDonald’s worker, the supermarket check-out staff, (well, let’s be frank – 90% of us) and the world will be a happier place, the economy will be more successful and we will live longer. The gap between rich and poor is at its highest level for 30 years. Over the last year there have been protests from Cairo to New York to London - now it's time for action, and a documentary is the most powerful way we can raise awareness and mobilise people. WHAT IS THE SPIRIT LEVEL? “The Spirit Level” is an award-winning book which uses rigorous analysis of 25 years of research to show how a more equal society is better for all of us, including the rich.  It shows how nearly all social ills - stress, poor educational performance, high crime rates, unwanted teenage pregnancies - are more common in those societies with a big gap between rich and poor.  It has been published in over 20 countries, has sold over 100,000 copies in the UK and won first prize in the Bristol Festival of Ideas. Lynsey Hanley in the Guardian said, It’s impossible to overstate the implications of (this) thesis",  The Economist stated “It is a sweeping claim, yet the evidence, here painstakingly marshalled, is hard to dispute”. The New Statesman listed it as one of their top ten books of the decade. It’s impact has been so great that it has provoked numerous attacks from  organisations that support low taxes for the rich such as the Taxpayers’ Alliance (“we oppose all tax rises”) and Policy Exchange (“the most influential think tank on the right”)  WHY IS EQUALITY IMPORTANT? Inequality has suddenly become an issue politicians and commentators are talking and writing about, even the International Monetary Fund. Min Zhu, a deputy managing director of the IMF said in November 2011: “We see concerns about the link between tax and social justice almost everywhere we look. In the Occupy movement; in the Arab spring; in the debates on George Bush’s tax cuts in the U.S., on how to distribute the pain of austerity in Europe.” Min was saying this at a time when the IMF published a report saying that taxes should be used to reduce inequality, which their report showed was bad for economic growth. The argument is being heard right now, with battles over austerity in Greece, and Obama saying “no challenge is more urgent” than inequality in the US. http://www.indiegogo.com/spiritlevelfilm Thu, 21 Jun 2012 00:00:00 GMT The Women@Work Project is delighted to announce....... http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/180/The-WomenWork-Project-is-delighted-to-announce http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/180/The-WomenWork-Project-is-delighted-to-announce The Women@Work  Project is delighted to announce that it has two vacancies for its new project, which has been funded by the Scottish Government’s Voluntary Action Fund until 31st March 2015The Women@Work Project actively promotes gender equality and addresses the gaps, challenges and needs faced by women in the Highlands in relation to employment, economic activity and gender segregation.The new three year project will operate in the eight local networks by engaging a broad spectrum of women in training, development, networking and influencing activities and by strengthening and growing strategic partnerships.     Women@Work Linking women in the Highlands   The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) are seeking to appoint to the following posts:   ·        Project Co-ordinator: 28 hours per week, pro rata grade C++ £25,279 - £26,985. ·        Project Information and Support Officer: 17.5 hours per week, pro rata grade C £23,145 – £24,851   Funded by the Scottish Government’s Voluntary Action Fund, the WEA’s Women@Work project promotes gender equality and addresses the gaps, challenges and needs faced by women in the Highlands in relation to employment, economic activity and gender segregation.  The project provides education, training and information for women to help them understand issues, develop skills and become more able to speak out at home, at work and in their community.    Supported by the Information and Support Officer, the Project Co-ordinator will lead and develop the project delivering learning opportunities and information through 8 local area networks across the Highlands.   Assisting the Project Co-ordinator in all aspects of the delivery of the project, the Information and Support Officer will maintain and develop online information services, undertaking research and data analysis, writing and preparing communications, briefings, reports and inputs aimed at policy makers, employers, strategic partners and network participants.   Funding for both posts is secured until 31st of March 2015.   For an application pack contact: WEA Scotland, Riddles Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2PG on telephone number 0131 226 3456 or by email on a.silva@weascotland.org.uk; or download an application pack from our website. www.weascotland.org.uk  Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 11th June 2012.     These posts are funded by the Voluntary Action Fund       Director of WEA Scotland:  Jayne Stuart Riddle’s Court l 322 Lawnmarket l Edinburgh EH1 2PG l Telephone 0131 226 3456 l Fax: 0131 220 0306 l email: hq@weascotland.org.uk l website: www.weascotland.org.uk   The WORKERS’ EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 1112775) and in Scotland (number SC039239) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (number 2806910).  Registered address is WEA, 4 Luke Street, London, EC2A 4XW.    Tue, 22 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT Inspiring Women Meeting http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/175/Inspiring-Women-Meeting http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/175/Inspiring-Women-Meeting Inspiring Women Meeting Cultural and Traditional Practices or Women’s Human Rights  Speaker:  Elaine Cameron, Engender member and Scottish Episcopal Church delegate to CSW Wednesday 16th May, 6pm-7.30pm Engender office, 1a Haddington Place, Edinburgh, EH7 4AE Light refreshments provided  The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a global policy making body dedicated to the advancement of women.  It meets each year to address the progress towards equality of women around the world and the theme of this year’s session was ‘The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication and current challenges’.  It’s extremely worrying that the member states were unable to adopt agreed conclusions this year as the representatives of some states argued for the preservation of  cultural, traditional and moral practices which in effect override the human rights of women.  Find out more Elaine Cameron will give an overview of her experience as a delegate and the debate that took place and this will be followed by a discussion of what this failure of the CSW signals for women.     RSVP: Karen@engender.org.uk  or tel: 0131 558 9596 Fri, 11 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT A Manifesto for Women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/176/A-Manifesto-for-Women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/176/A-Manifesto-for-Women Produced using the views of women throughout Scotland, this document can be used by women to raise awareness of issues – making sure family, friends and colleagues are aware of the concerns affecting women in Scotland today.Launched during a recent ‘Women and Their Vote’ Conference, the manifesto can be used to challenge Local Government election candidates regarding local priorities for women.A copy can be downloaded from our website: http://www.scottishwomensconvention.org/what-we-do2.asp?ct_id=103 Fri, 11 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT Glasgow Women’s Library will go East for the weekend of 19th and 20th May http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/177/Glasgow-Womens-Library-will-go-East-for-the-weekend-of-19th-and-20th-May http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/177/Glasgow-Womens-Library-will-go-East-for-the-weekend-of-19th-and-20th-May May is another busy month at the library with lots going on. Glasgow Women’s Library will go East for the weekend of 19th and 20th May in celebration of the Festival of Museums. We will be at Bridgeton Library, in the heart of the East End, from 10am on Saturday 19th May and we would love you to join us, wherever you’re from, for a day of fun and activities, including Badge-making, Oral Histories workshop, Pop-up treasure trove and The Big Women's Quiz. If you are based in or visiting Edinburgh this week we have organised an exciting series of exhibitions celebrating the lives and achievements of women in partnership with Edinburgh City Libraries and the Bonnie Fechters from Tuesday 1st to Saturday 12th May at Edinburgh Central Library, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh. Fri, 11 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT Highland Celebration of Learning 2012 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/179/Highland-Celebration-of-Learning-2012 http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/179/Highland-Celebration-of-Learning-2012 Highland Celebration of Learning 201211 am Opening by Douglas Wilby Head of Performance, HLH 11.15 am Lively introductionwith Margot Henderson, Reader in Residence, Highland Libraries12 noon …and now the good news – Life, Learning and the Feel Good FactorA Wow! Workshop with Margot Henderson. Dare to be there! You won’t want to miss it!1 pm Demonstration by Lead about using Adobe Connect for learning.1 pm – 2 pm Light refreshments2 pm Make it up!An exciting hands-on craft and words workshop with the WEA.3 pm "Get digital with Highland Libraries" Hands on session including e-readers and i-pads. Come and try! No previous knowledge or experience of computers necessary.4 pm Learners at the ready!Run by a group of learners who have been working with HLH Adult Learning. What can we do to enable more people to benefit from learning? 5 pm The sky’s the limit!Summing up of the day with Margot Henderson.5.30 pm – 6 pm Light refreshments6.30 pm Award Presentation"Every picture tells a story" Writing Competition – prizes presented by Cynthia RogersonPrizewinning AuthorLearner awardsfor commitment to learningTutor Awardsfor contribution to learningFor more information on this event please contact:Mary RhindAdult Literacies CoordinatorHigh Life HighlandHighland Adult Literacies PartnershipLibrary Support Unit31A Harbour RoadInvernessIV1 1UAtel 01463 251276email mary.rhind@highlifehighland.com Fri, 11 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT Men earn 10 per cent more http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/174/Men-earn-10-per-cent-more http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/174/Men-earn-10-per-cent-more From the Inverness Courier   The pay gap between men and women remains above 10 per cent, with an average of 370 women losing their jobs each day in Scotland. The grim statistics were revealed at the recent Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) Women@Work conference in Inverness, which heard more needed to be done to help women, including flexible working patterns, properly funded childcare and an equal wage. The WEA works to improve learning in the community and workplace and its Highlands manager Sue Mitchell said equal pay was an issue across Scotland , including in the region, where she acknowledged there were a lot of women in jobs where their level of skill did not match their role. “We have an over-representation of women in administrative or clerical jobs with higher levels of qualifications that outstrip the roles that they are in,” she said. Nationally, there continues to be a pay gap over 10 per cent between men and women and in Scotland the number of women’s jobs lost between October and December last year was an average of 370 each day. “I think the impact of cuts in local authorities where we have a large workforce of women is impacting particularly”. She added transport and an ageing population was also a facto locally. “Flexibility of working patterns is one of the biggest issues that need to be addressed, and just ensuring there is proper joined up government thinking on this.” The conference took place at Highland Council’s headquarters and was attended by more than 60 delegates, with topics including economics, women and worth.  Speakers included Kathryn Busby, co-director of the Equality Trust, Ailsa McKay, professor of economics at Glasgow Caledonian University, Emma Ritch, from Close the Gap, and Claire Logie, strategic director of Independent Women. Wed, 9 May 2012 00:00:00 GMT Mademoiselle? Will they ‘Miss’ it? http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/170/Mademoiselle-Will-they-Miss-it http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/170/Mademoiselle-Will-they-Miss-it From WVoN 29 February 2012.The Prime Minister’s office issued a document last week, phasing out the use of Mademoiselle on official forms.  Old forms will be used until they run out, but thereafter the options will be limited to Madame or Monsieur. The document also instructs ministries and administrative bodies to discontinue requests, where possible, for maiden name and spouse’s surname on forms. The edict comes after two French towns, Cesson-Sevigne in Brittany, and Fontenay-sous-Bois near Paris, banned the official use of Mademoiselle. French feminist groups have been campaigning for years for Mademoiselle to be dropped, saying its use is sexist and discriminatory, which clearly it is. French women have never had the option of the neutral ‘Ms’ so women were ‘Madame’ or not, whether they liked it or not. Julie Muret of feminist group Osez le Feminisme, said: ‘Everywhere we are asked to declare our marital status. This is not imposed on men, it’s not important whether they are married.’ Another French feminist group who welcomed the change was Les Chiennes de Garde, whose campaign to get rid of the distinction in female honorifics, ‘Mademoiselle, La Case en Trop!‘ was launched in September last year. However, the change has not been welcomed by all.  It hasn’t even been welcomed by all French feminist groups. Paroles de Femmes, a women’s group which fights for women’s equality, isn’t very impressed with the victory, with its President, Olivia Cattan, saying the word mademoiselle had never annoyed her. Wed, 29 Feb 2012 00:00:00 GMT Women at work: edging towards equality http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/160/Women-at-work-edging-towards-equality http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/160/Women-at-work-edging-towards-equality From The Guardian, 9 February 2012.There are moments, as Jim Callaghan so famously observed before Labour was evicted from power in 1979, when the times change. In one important way, it is beginning to feel that Britain is at a watershed now. The terms of the debate about the role of women seem to have made a critical shift, so that the question is not so much why, as how to pursue the fight for equality. It is a fight that is a long way from victory, and one that is brutally exposing the significance of class and race as well asgender in perpetuating inequality. But when the Church of England rejects a compromise that would have left women as second class bishops, as Synod did on Wednesday, and a Conservative prime minister talks of quotas for women in boardrooms, as David Cameron did yesterday, then something important is happening to a long-familiar argument; something much more fundamental than trying to appeal to women voters. Of course, such an epic change does not just happen. It has taken 50 years to get this far, two generations of women prepared to put up with derision and discouragement, and to make the hard compromises with family life to keep the flame alight. Neither Tories nor Lib Dems have taken much part, but, like the repentant sinner, at least they're here now, and that makes sustainable progress a real likelihood. Curiously, just as the Winter of Discontent allowed the Tories to frame their argument in a way that voters recognised in 1979, so economic crisis and the failure of the old model of corporate behaviour has made space for the argument – advanced in such unexpected quarters as Master of Nothing, written by the Tory backbenchers Matthew Hancock and Nadim Zadhawi last year – that macho behaviour is more cause than cure. If only, as the IMF boss Christine Lagarde observed, it had been Lehmann Sisters, there wouldn't have been a crisis at all. In the past year, nearly a third of all board appointees have been women, edging their share of power in FTSE 100 companies up to 13.9%. That may also owe something to the joint determination of the European parliament and the EU's fundamental rights commissionerViviane Reding to impose a 40% minimum of women in the boardroom by 2020. But there are other straws in the wind. For the first time ever the full-time pay gap between men and women has fallen below 10% and, at least at the junior management level, there is pay parity. These are some real reasons to be cheerful. But the glass is still only just half full. At Davos (fewer than one in five women delegates)Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg challenged women to have the courage to be as ambitious as men, but she did not explain why she is the only woman at the top of an organisation otherwise dominated by white men. Or take pay equality: only another round of figures will show if last year's parity is a solid gain, or a miserable chimera created by the disappearance of many low-paid women from the job market. Above all, when it comes to workplace equality, motherhood remains the defining barrier: from City high flyer to the school dinner lady, having children knocks a hole in women's earning capacity that is irrecoverable, as research from the Resolution Foundation published this week confirms, yet again – and of course it is a much bigger a hole for women in the low- to middle-income sector than for higher-income women. And, Mr Cameron might note in the afterglow of his visit to Sweden, international comparisons are revealing. If women in the UK were employed at the rate they are in the Nordic countries, another million would be in work. Why, economic circumstances permitting, aren't they? Maybe it is because British childcare is the second most expensive in the OECD countries. Meanwhile, nearly half a million equal pay cases remain outstanding: thousands more claims are never pursued, and the introduction of charges will, by design, make going to a tribunal an even bigger hurdle. More women at the top is cause for celebration. But more women off the very bottom would be even better.  Fri, 10 Feb 2012 00:00:00 GMT Women tell 474 lies a year about their diet http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/146/Women-tell-474-lies-a-year-about-their-diet http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/146/Women-tell-474-lies-a-year-about-their-diet "It was only a small portion," is women's favourite untruth, and one of nine lies told weekly by the average woman.It is followed by "I'll have a big lunch so I won't eat much after this", and "I only treat myself once in a while."Claiming always to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, never eating biscuits and only drinking one glass of wine a day are also common falsehoods, according to a study released by Timex.Women often claim to be only "eating the kids' leftovers" or "testing the dinner" when indulging, the watch manufacturer found.Other questionable claims include never eating fast food, only drinking to toast a special occasion and claiming that red wine is healthy. Chocolate, crisps, cake, wine, cheese and bread are among the foods most likely to be the subject of deception, the survey of 3,000 people found.Dr Cassandra Maximenko said: "Studies show that keeping a food diary can double weight loss but it seems that rather than being honest about the food and drink which passes our lips, many women are lying about it, or completely denying it altogether."But while this might save them some embarrassment in front of their partner or friends in the short term, it's not going to help them reach their health and weight loss goals in the future."By lying to their loved ones, women are also lying to themselves and could easily see their weight creep up." Fri, 6 Jan 2012 00:00:00 GMT Happy New Year http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/142/Happy-New-Year http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/142/Happy-New-Year Best wishes for a happy and propsperous New Year from the W@W team Wed, 4 Jan 2012 00:00:00 GMT "Unique" - Women@Work feature in new European guide. http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/138/Unique-WomenWork-feature-in-new-European-guide http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/138/Unique-WomenWork-feature-in-new-European-guide WINNET8 is a European Project to promote regional growth by improving women's participation in the labour market. The project aims to shape regional, national and EU-level policies and development programmes that relate to women's status in the labour market and ensure these policies are integrated into mainstream provision. As part of this work, Winnet* has compiled a guide to innovation and practice in Women's Resource centres across Europe.\Women@Work feature in the guide. "Women@Work are unique in the Highland Regions in terms of the learning and educational programme for women. They provide a vehicle for women's influence in decision making at local, regional and national levels. Women@Work is doing groundbreaking work to engage women in economics by examining women's contribution to micro-economics and exploring opportunities and channels of influence that women can access in terms of macro-economics. Women@Work is doing groundbreaking work to engage women in economics by examining women's contribution to micro-economics and exploring opportunities and channels of influence that women can access in terms of macro-economics, i.e. how women can exercise consumer power. Women@Work also works to improve understanding of how the economy runs and how equality and gender can be taken into account in relation to budgeting and spending patterns."Read the full report. Wed, 28 Dec 2011 00:00:00 GMT Women are living longer but are they living healthier http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/135/Women-are-living-longer-but-are-they-living-healthier http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/135/Women-are-living-longer-but-are-they-living-healthier New research from the Scottish Public Health Observatory shows that while men might a lower life expectancy that women, they spend relatively  more time in good health. Life expectancy is an estimate of how many years we might be expected to live, 'healthy life expectancy' is an estimate of how many years we might live in a 'healthy' state. The most recent annual estimates for Scotland show that while boys born in 2010 can be expected to 76.3 years on average, only  59.5 of these in a 'healthy' state. Girls born in 2010 would be expected to live 80.7 years on average, 61.9 of these years being 'healthy'.This means that while women might be living longer than men not all of those years are spent in good health. Wed, 21 Dec 2011 00:00:00 GMT Job vacancy - Area Tutor Organiser http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/131/Job-vacancy-Area-Tutor-Organiser http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/131/Job-vacancy-Area-Tutor-Organiser Worker's Educational Association Scotland are seeking to recruit an Are Tutor Organiser for the Aberdeen area - closing date  4 January, 2012.More. Tue, 6 Dec 2011 00:00:00 GMT Good guys don't finish last - women do! http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/126/Good-guys-dont-finish-last-women-do http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/126/Good-guys-dont-finish-last-women-do From the I Online, 4 December 2011. It is a phrase that millions of good-natured people around the world will consider so obvious that it hardly deserves to be questioned. Nonetheless, a team of business experts claims to have proved the pessimistic notion that "nice guys finish last" - at least where money is concerned. A study has found that a person's "agreeableness" has a negative effect on their earnings. "Niceness", according to the research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, does not appear to pay. The findings are bad news for nice guys, but worse still for women of all temperaments. They show that, regardless of their levels of agreeableness, women earned nearly 14 per cent less than men. Agreeable men earned an average of $7,000 (£4,490) less than their disagreeable peers. Mon, 5 Dec 2011 00:00:00 GMT Why is British public life dominated by men? http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/125/Why-is-British-public-life-dominated-by-men http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/125/Why-is-British-public-life-dominated-by-men In a typical month,78% of newspaper articles are written by men, 72% of Question Time contributors are men and 84% of reporters and guests on Radio 4's Today show are men. Where are all the women? I don't know when the breaking point came. Was it the 2010 election, in which the most prominent women on the national stage seemed to be the leaders' wives? Was it a drip, drip, drip of Question Time panels featuring one woman alongside four men and a male presenter? Could it have been the low growl of voices waking me each morning on the Today programme, or a growing feeling that I hadn't seen a female byline on the cover of some newspaper sections for weeks? Was it images of the Commons? Images of the Lords? Was it the prime-time television comedy shows with their all-male panels? Or the current affairs shows, also apparently aimed at a mixed audience, that barely featured women? It was all those factors, in truth, and so in mid-June I began a count. I started with bylines (the name of the journalist who has written the article). For four weeks I counted every byline in the Monday-to-Friday editions of seven newspapers, looking at the number of male and female writers. I knew there were only two female editors of national newspapers: Tina Weaver at the Sunday Mirror, and Dawn Neesom at the Daily Star. But I wanted a clearer picture overall. I did the count for the first two weeks, a colleague did the third, and two researchers the fourth. We doggedly counted each byline, in every part of each paper, and while this wasn't a scientific study, each individual week brought forth broadly similar figures (the count was timed to end before the start of the school summer holidays, to avoid any skewing of the statistics). There wasn't a single day, on a single newspaper, when the number of female bylines outstripped or equalled the number of male bylines. The Daily Mail came the closest of any newspaper to parity on Monday 27 June, when its contributors were 53% male and 47% female – reflecting the fact that, whatever the Daily Mail's style and tone, it clearly recognises the commercial importance of its women readers, targets a mass of material at them, and is rewarded as the only daily national, besides the Daily Express, whose female readers currently outnumber male readers. At the end of the month we averaged all the daily percentages and the results were: the Mail, 68% male bylines, 32% female; the Guardian, 72% male, 28% female; the Times, 74% male, 26% female; the Daily Telegraph, 78% male, 22% female; the Daily Mirror, 79% male, 21% female; the Sun, 80% male, 20% female; and the Independent, 84% male, 16% female. (A new editor was appointed at the Independent during the count, so we had another look at the paper's bylines on the week beginning Monday 14 November, to see if there was any change. Although the paper has some excellent female columnists and writers, the figures were exactly the same.) It is arguable, of course, that counting bylines is a blunt tool – that an analysis of how many words by male and female writers are appearing in the newspapers would be far better. If someone intends to do that analysis, I would love to read it. However, having leafed through many news, sports and arts sections with a very small proportion of female writers, I'm not sure the result would be all that different. I should also note there were sometimes a few names that weren't easy to pin down as male or female, however much we searched for details, (I'm speaking, primarily, of people called Chris), and these were left out of the count. Their number never exceeded five on a single newspaper on a single day, and that was anomalous – mostly there were fewer than 15 unclear bylines across all the newspapers over the space of a week, out of more than 3,500 bylines in total. So while they might have added a blur to our snapshot, it was of a very mild variety. During that four-week period, I also logged the gender of reporters and guests on the Today programme. (All the shows I looked at, including Today, were on the BBC, which reflects the agenda-setting nature of the corporation.) It is well-recognised that the main roster of Today programme presenters is male-dominated – John Humphrys, James Naughtie, Evan Davis and Justin Webb, with Sarah Montague the only woman. But I wondered whether this 80/20 split spilled over to its other contributors. Using the breakdown of each morning's programme, published on the BBC website, and discounting the lead presenters, I added up the number of reporters and guests who appeared on each episode – counting each reporter only once if they were, for instance, appearing repeatedly on a single show to relay the business or sports news. On Tuesday 5 July you had to wait from 6.15am until 8.20am to hear the one female contributor who appeared alongside the 27 male contributors on the programme: arts correspondent Rebecca Jones talking about the Hampton Court Palace flower show. Overall, across the month, discounting the main presenters, Today had 83.5% male contributors and 16.5% female ones. I spoke to the editor of the Today programme, Ceri Thomas, on Friday 11 November – a day when only two female contributors appeared on the programme. The day before there had been just one. I asked if there was a strong enough female presence on the show at the moment. "I think nearly every day there is not," he said. "And within the programme it's a very active discussion. And not just a discussion – it's pursued actively, too. Every producer on the programme is aware we're trying to increase the representation of women on air. People such as the planning editor, who is in a position to do a bit more about it, have it as a specific objective." He adds that the show's listenership is about 50/50 men and women, "and I'm bound to say to you, it almost never comes up as an issue from the audience ... I suppose it might be two letters a year, or something of that nature." He makes this last point, in different words, three times in our 10-minute conversation. If most Today programme listeners aren't bothered by the male dominance of the media, other people certainly are. Earlier this year Chitra Nagarajan, a member of the activist group Black Feminists, started the "diversity audit" hashtag on Twitter, where people can note the comparative male or female presence on any show, or at any event – as well as collating information, according to their interests and concerns, about race, class, sexuality, disability or other factors. Nagarajan says that, from an early age, she became used to entering a room, looking around and seeing "who else was there that wasn't white. And then, since I started going along to events, you look at the panel and notice they're all male – even at events where the issue actually affects women disproportionately." Earlier this year, Nagarajan did an analysis of Question Time, looking at the comparative number of men and women on the show, and also black men and women. Of the 12 shows that started on 27 January, seven featured all white guests. Only three non-white women appeared on the panels in that period – numbers of non-white men were even lower: just two appeared. The analysis I did of every Question Time episode this year, up until 3 November, found that, including David Dimbleby, the show featured 71.5% male contributors and 28.5% female contributors. If you exclude the presenter from that count, it was 66% male contributors, 34% female. There were 13 programmes out of 34 that featured only one female panellist. There were no programmes in that period that featured only one male panellist – all had at least two. I also did an analysis of every episode of the current affairs radio programme Any Questions?, presented by Dimbleby's brother Jonathan, from the start of the year to 4 November. In that case, including Dimbleby himself in the count, the contributors to the show were 70% male, 30% female – excluding the presenter, 63% male, 37% female. Across all these examples, women's representation never tended to reach much more than a third. It reminded me of a conversation I had with Dr Katherine Rake a few years ago when she was leading the women's rights campaign the Fawcett Society. She told me: "The number of women at the top often hovers around a third, and then stalls." Once women reach that level of visibility, she suspected, there was a feeling they were everywhere, and their presence was becoming a bit too dominant. As Nagarajan says, the absence of women, and particularly black and ethnic-minority women, on current affairs programmes is deeply problematic. "When I was doing my count," she says, "it was the early months of the year, when revolutions were happening in the Middle East and north Africa, but very rarely did you actually see a woman from any of those countries speak. You occasionally saw the men speak, but never the women, which I think ties into the whole idea of black women's vulnerability and invisibility. So black women never speak for themselves – other people speak for them, and over their heads – when it comes to their rights. And the image you see of them is as weak, vulnerable and not being really important agents for change." Seema Malhotra, director of the Fabian Women's Network, has also been speaking out on this issue. She published a letter in the Guardian last month, alongside 61 other influential women, raising concern about the number of all-male panels at policy debates. The letter stated: "We will no longer be attending events where there is an all-male panel without exceptional reason and will be encouraging others to do the same." When you consider the representation of women in mainstream politics, their invisibility at policy debates and on current affairs programmes comes as no surprise. Nan Sloane, director of the Centre for Women and Democracy, points out that the current figures are easy to remember: 22% of MPs are female, 22% of peers and 22% of the cabinet. (After the election, only 17% of the cabinet were women, but that number edged up with the recent appointment of Chloe Smith as economic secretary to the Treasury.) Interestingly, when the figures for women's representation across the newspapers and the Today programme are averaged, they produce almost exactly the same result – 22.6%. And while individual women MPs are far from guaranteed to promote positive measures for women – Margaret Thatcher was hardly a feminist, and more recently, Nadine Dorries has campaigned to restrict abortion rights – there is something very odd about the sidelining of women in our national conversation. ("Nothing about us without us," as that all-purpose campaigning cry goes.) Sloane says there is a clear democratic justice argument for having more women in politics, "which is that you have 51% of the population paying equal taxes, who are not equally represented when it comes to deciding how their money is spent ... I don't go for the argument that if you have more women around the table you wouldn't have cuts that affected women. That's not how politics works. But if you had more women involved, they'd be more likely to pick up those nuances at an early stage and bring their experience to bear, particularly locally, I think." It was at the all-male coalition agreement talks that the idea of introducing pre-charge anonymity for rape defendants was brought up – when this became public, there was an outcry from women MPs of all parties, and the proposal was very quickly and embarrassingly ditched. "If there had been at least a couple of women in that room initially," says Sloane, "they might have said: 'Do you really think this is wise?'" Another factor that obviously affects women's visibility is the pressure of parenthood. Journalist Gaby Hinsliff, who decided to resign from her job as political editor of the Observer two years ago, wrote movingly about the difficulties she'd experienced trying to balance a round-the-clock career with family life. Her article prompted an outpouring from both women and men negotiating a similar workload, and she has written a book on the subject, Half a Wife, to be published next month. She says in the 14 years since she became a lobby journalist, much of the conscious sexism in journalism seems to have diminished, but there's still a major exodus of women from the newsroom in their 30s. How much does she think this is down to parenthood? "Pretty much all of it, to be honest ... [But] when it comes to whether women get to be editors, or section heads, then I think it's partly about children, and still partly about something else." Unsociable and unpredictable hours keep many women out of politics, too, but Sloane says she doesn't accept the argument that "'women are just always going to go off and have babies, so what can you do?' If that's how a large part of the population is going to live, then you need to gear things to take account of that, rather than treat it as an aberration. Because it's not, is it? Most people have children." Sloane says the truth is that local parties – as well as the electorate at large – expect an MP to be a middle-aged man in a suit, and so often seem to select on that basis. It is certainly the case that despite the small increase in female MPs at the last election (up around 2%, although only because of the mass clearout following the expenses scandal), the very top of our political culture – David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband – looks more homogenous, and more of a closed establishment, than ever. The fewer women there are in the public eye, the more anomalous they look when they do appear. I'm often wryly amused by the male journalists who comment on how terrifying they find all-female environments – an appearance on Loose Women, for instance, or Woman's Hour. I was struck by a quote from Martin Amis, in a recent Observer interview with feminist activist Gloria Steinem. When Amis met Steinem in 1984, at the offices of feminist magazine Ms, he wrote that he was aware of his "otherness, my testosterone, among all this female calm". What's rarely acknowledged is that women have to operate as "other" on the public stage most of the time – the difference being that they could never admit this, and could certainly never confess to terror, however comic, for fear of being seen as pathetic. The marginalisation of women, as with the marginalisation of any other group, means those who do put their head above the parapet are highly visible, and much more likely to be taken as representative of their entire sex. If a male comic performs badly on Have I Got News for You, he lets himself down. If one of the few women to appear performs badly, she's proof that women just aren't funny. (In series 40, 41 and the first four episodes of series 42 – all screened this year – 84.5% of the five people who appeared on the programme were men, while 15.5% were women. Eight out of 23 episodes featured no women. Twelve out of 23 episodes featured one woman. In series 10 of the panel comedy series Mock the Week – excluding the one compilation show, the same as Have I Got News for You – 92% of guests were male, 8% female. Out of 11 shows, five casts were entirely male, and the other six featured six men and one woman.) Clearly there is an element of sexism – even if unconscious – on many TV shows. I spoke to one booker who said she still feels the key question that is often asked of women who will appear on air is "Are they fuckable?", and she has been shouted down when trying to book women MPs for programmes, has heard them called yappy, "and yet the most slimebag male politicians wouldn't get questioned or blocked at all". Writer and broadcaster Bidisha says she was always struck by the "absolute unwillingness that would descend" when she suggested a female guest for shows she was presenting – she was once told a leading writer was only good for talking about "menstruating nuns". Natasha Walter, the feminist writer and activist, says the male domination of current affairs shows is, as with politics, partly about the way "the masculine establishment reproduces itself. They know the men, the men are already visible, so they're the easy ask ... It's not conscious sexism, or conscious discrimination, but it's slight laziness." The trouble is, the fewer women who appear on these shows, the fewer feel comfortable doing so – and more broadly, and most importantly, the fewer girls and young women are likely to feel confident claiming public space, speaking their minds, believing women are valued for their voice and opinions. Katie Snape, who books the guests for Sky News, is highly committed to getting more women on screen, and says she often has trouble booking the number she would like. "I always have these conversations with women where I say: 'We'd love to have you on the panel', and I explain why, and they laugh, and they're very self-effacing, and they say: 'Gosh, I'm so flattered, but I just don't think I'd have anything to say.' And I've never rung up a man who has said that." Women are more worried about getting a drubbing – and they're right to be. The bookers and broadcasters I spoke to under condition of anonymity said women, in viewer feedback, come in for vicious comments about their looks, voices and temerity in putting themselves forward. Bidisha says being cast in the role of token woman becomes unbearably frustrating. "If you're the token woman in year one of your career, and you're still the token woman in year 10, you get tired and want to do something else with your life, because it seems to be making no difference. The token woman wants to be there with her sisters and her friends, in a forward-thinking, progressive, egalitarian culture." She feels the "only solution is female solidarity, so that's why I'm behind the Orange prize, the women's writing magazine Mslexia, the Women of the World festival, because I do feel the numbers game doesn't change, but positive action makes an enormous difference." Any broader change will have to come from women organising around the issue, she says – such as the boycott of male-dominated panels, for instance. Walter also calls for more solidarity. "I think we have to consciously show more support, as women, for women who appear in public. When a man pushes himself forward, he's seen as taking his rightful place, isn't he? And we admire him for his courage. But do we really have quite the same attitude to a woman?" Additional research: Suzie Worroll, James Browning, Grace Nzita and Nicolas Niarchos How do you feel about the representation of women in British public life? And how could it be improved? guardian.co.uk/women Women Gender Equality Kira Cochrane guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds   Sun, 4 Dec 2011 00:00:00 GMT Why women need sheds more than men http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/121/Why-women-need-sheds-more-than-men http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/121/Why-women-need-sheds-more-than-men From Lucy Mangan at the Guardian, 30 November 2011.The nation's first professor of men's health, Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan University, has announced that sheds are the answer to men's ailments. Apparently, pottering around doing odd jobs is therapeutic. "There's a sense of achievement that men get from starting a task and seeing it through to completion. It's good for self-esteem." Unlike women, of course, who thrive on going at things half-arsedly and looking around with satisfaction at the end of a day at all the things they didn't manage to finish. But perhaps we'll come back to that. You know, if I can be bothered.White's discovery is being adduced as evidence in support of the "men's sheds" charitable scheme to bring communal sheds to the shedless, where they can meet, potter - maybe pootle, why not? - and be gently encouraged to visit the doctor when they get a twinge or headache instead of hoping that mending the lawnmower will do. Obviously I'm not sure what form this encouragement takes, as my gender forbids my entry to these hallowed sanctums - maybe some cheerful posters, maybe an undercover health official, or maybe a communal shed is like the Secret Seven's gang hut but with prostate exams instead of a password. Who knows?The men's shed movement began in Australia about four years ago and there are now 20 sheds under its aegis in the UK. I wondered then, and I wonder now, why it was decreed that men needed sheds more than women. Which sex has historically had the power to barricade itself in its study/club/recently conquered country and relax with a glass of port? Conversely, whose lives have traditionally been dominated by serving the needs of others? Whose concentration is most often broken by calls on her (oh, I'm sorry - have I given the game away?) time from children or co-habitees who still don't know where the clean towels are kept, and miscellaneous idiots at work who believe that it is the nearest woman's job to clear up the literal and metaphorical messes they leave behind?Yes, women need sheds far more than men. Where's our charitable funding? I'm writing this in a freezing loft conversion and can hear husband and baby coming up the stairs to get me, though at least only one of them is crying at the moment. What I wouldn't give for a dozen metres of muddy turf and a tangle of thorny thicket to deter them. Maybe I'll just institute a mandatory prostate exam instead. Yes. That ought to do it. Wed, 30 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT It’s now 4 degrees of separation, thanks to Facebook http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/116/Its-now-4-degrees-of-separation-thanks-to-Facebook http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/116/Its-now-4-degrees-of-separation-thanks-to-Facebook From the Telegraph, 23 November 2011Since the American social psychologist, Stanley Milgram, conducted his famous 'small world experiment' in the 1960s, it has been commonly accepted that most people have six degrees of separation between them.However, a vast new study by Facebook's data team and the University of Milan, which assessed the relationships between 721 million active users (more than 10 per cent of the global population) of the social network, has found that the average number of connections between people has dropped to four.The huge piece of research, which took a month to conduct and analysed 69 billion connections across the site, found that 92 per cent of facebook users are connected by only 5 hops, or four degrees of separation."Using state-of-the-art algorithms...we were able to approximate the number of 'hops' [degrees of separation] between all pairs of individuals on Facebook."We found that six degrees actually overstates the number of links between typical pairs of users: While 99.6% of all pairs of users are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops), 92% are connected by only four degrees (5 hops)," the Facebook Data team said. Facebook has become the world's largest social network, with more than 800 million members. The team found that as the site has grown; representing an ever larger fraction of the global population, the degrees of separation between people has been falling.The average distance between all people on the site in 2008 was 5.28 degrees, while now it is 4.74.The connectivity that social networks have brought means that someone on Facebook in Siberia or the Peruvian rainforest is probably no more than a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, said sites such as Facebook and Twitter had provided a mechanism which allowed more people to be in touch at the same time around the world."I think Facebook and Twitter have allowed people a tool by which they can be in touch with far more people than ever before. These sites have also brought groups of people together with the same interests, who don't always know each other. It's like the difference between living in a city versus a rural community. People can now find each other with greater ease than ever before."However, people may now have more contacts, but that should not be confused with the number of actual 'friends' they have," he cautioned.Wiseman said that it would be dangerous to conclude from the study that people had more real friends because of social networks, and therefore were actually closer to a greater number of people."I doubt the algorithms, which were used to create this research, took into account how many people out of user's list of 'friends' were actually people they knew personally. The six degrees of separation research was all about people who knew each other forming a chain. This is loosening that term."The Facebook analysts also found that when they just looked at people's connections in a single country, most pairs of people are only separated by three degrees.In Milgram's original experiment, he famously tested the idea that any two people in the world are separated by only a small number of intermediate connections. By sending packages to 160 random people, asking them to forward the parcel to the friend or acquaintance that had the best chance of getting it to a set final person, he found that people in the United States were connected via an average of 5.5 others.This gave rise to the "six degrees of separation" theory in popular culture.A game loosely based on the "six degrees of separation" theory and the small world experiment has also thrived online. In "six degrees of Kevin Bacon", players have to link any actor to Kevin Bacon in as few steps as possible. It used to be said that everybody on the planet was separated by only six other people. Wed, 23 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT Must a woman lower the tone of her voice to be successful? http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/114/Must-a-woman-lower-the-tone-of-her-voice-to-be-successful http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/114/Must-a-woman-lower-the-tone-of-her-voice-to-be-successful From The GuardianIt was years ago during a late-night student debate when a female friend suggested I was losing the argument as my voice had become too high. I can't remember for the life of me what the argument was about, but I do remember my feminist fury as I pointed out that I was always going to lose against my (male) opponent if that was how we were being judged. It all ended in tears with my friend hiding in the loo. As I said, it was late at night.This whole exchange came flooding back listening to the Today programme this morning.Researchers at a Canadian university have found that voters prefer lower-pitched voices, rating their speakers higher for attractiveness, leadership potential, honesty, intelligence and dominance.It's the issue of dominance that is key to our voting decisions apparently.Here's lead researcher Cara Tigue, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada: "Throughout our evolutionary history, it would have been important for our ancestors to pay attention to cues to good leadership because group leaders affected a person's ability to survive and reproduce within a group ... We're looking at it in a present-day, 21st-century context."So she and her team asked 125 people to listen to nine US presidents, going back to Harry Truman, to judge higher and lower pitched versions of their voices. In all cases, they voted for the deeper tones.She refused to draw a link between this preference and the fact that there still hasn't been a female US president - sorry, Hillary - but did add: "I really just think that it just suggests that men with lower-pitched voices may have some sort of advantage."Political strategists have known this for a while and, funnily enough, my friend went on to do great things in the Labour party.Famously, Margaret Thatcher was advised to lower her tone, which she did, to win the election in 1979. (Do listen to the new Meryl Streep part of that Today clip - she's brilliant) Talking to the Daily Mail, Streep, not a natural Conservative supporter apparently, explained why she warmed to the "Iron lady"."It's about the head man. There are vestiges of people thinking women are not as bright and not as capable, and I think Margaret Thatcher knew that and so she over-prepared to make sure she knew everything that would ever be asked of her, and be 10 times more prepared than any of her colleagues - which probably annoyed them."It still annoys me come to think of it. Some will argue that this research shows that men are preordained to lead us because of our cave roots. Or is it more evidence that female politicians just have to try 10 times harder to overcome the fact that they sound, well, a bit "girly"?We can only hope that as more and more female politicians come to power (Angela Merkel, Michelle Bachelet, Helle Thorning-Schmidt) we start listening to what they say, rather than the way they say it. Tue, 15 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT Big drop in women's applications after university tuition fees increase http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/101/Big-drop-in-womens-applications-after-university-tuition-fees-increase http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/101/Big-drop-in-womens-applications-after-university-tuition-fees-increase Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service showed the drop in women candidates was almost twice as high as among men. In addition, the overall picture showed it was courses in the creative arts and public services, such as education and nursing, which were suffering the biggest drop in numbers. It also revealed that - while the overall drop in applications was nine per cent - the fall in the UK was higher (11.9 per cent). Applications from overseas students eligible for full-cost fees of up to £20,000 a year have risen by 8.8 per cent. University vice-chancellors and ministers were quick to stress it was too early to draw firm conclusions from the figures. However, there was a chorus of condemnation from students, lecturers' leaders and opposition MPs. Wed, 2 Nov 2011 00:00:00 GMT What's your snooze factor? http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/98/Whats-your-snooze-factor http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/98/Whats-your-snooze-factor New research released by Quaker highlights the extent to which the onset of autumn is already beginning to have a lethargic effect on people living in the UK, with over three quarters (78%) claiming they are now finding it extremely difficult to get out of bed in the mornings and over a third (39%) skip breakfast to avoid being even more late for work. The key factors that influence each person's Snooze Factor, a combination of darker mornings (32%), wetter weather (44%) and colder temperatures (24%), have been shown to have a greater effect on females, with 86.8% of women struggling to cope with the daily ritual of getting out of bed, in comparison to men (64.7%). The research has also identified that our snooze button is fast becoming one of the most used controls in the home, with 1 in 5 people pressing it up to 25 times each week. This is nearly twice as often as in the summer affording the nation an extra 10 hours a month in bed. It seems that as a nation we start to have a more sensible approach to meal times as we get older. Those over 55 years of age are twice as likely (46%) to eat a hot and healthy breakfast in comparison to those under 34 (22%). Instead of eating breakfast, we are a nation reliant on coffee with 53% stating it is the most important product consumed to help get us through winter mornings. In comparison less the 3% of us would drink a healthy fruit juice. Despite these worrying figures, Porridge as a breakfast trend is on the rise in the UK with over 1.8billion bowls consumed each year, the equivalent of one Olympic swimming pool each day. This is nearly 20% more than it was five years ago. Sun, 30 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Is you iPhone male or female? http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/96/Is-you-iPhone-male-or-female http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/96/Is-you-iPhone-male-or-female Siri, the digital PA on Apple's latest iPhone, is female in the US and male in the UK. Apple has declined to comment on the reasoning behind this, but theories abound. Stephen Ebbett, of gadget insurer Protectyourbubble.com, says: "Apple has decided that Brits trust an authoritative male voice, while Americans traditionally favour and are more receptive to a female voice." Last week, an editor at Washington-based Atlantic magazine, Rebecca Rosen, studied the gender politics of robots. She concluded that when technology uses a voice to guide us through phone messages or on public transport, it tends to be female. Anything more active or cerebral is usually male. For manufacturers, working out the sex of technology is a complicated business – and one that unearths our prejudices. Professor Clifford Nass of Stanford University, an authority on the human-technology interface, said in the Toronto Star that people respond to robotic gender just as they do to human gender, with deeper voices considered "more intelligent and credible". He worked at BMW in the 90s when it recalled navigation systems with a female voice: "Drivers [who were mostly male] didn't want to take directions from a female." So does the ubiquity of female GPS voices mean the situation has improved? Or is it because women's voices are thought to be more calming, reverting to the "women as carers, men as doers" paradigm? Returning to Apple's Siri, Jeremy Wagstaff, who runs technology consultancy Loose Wire Organisation, says: "Americans speak loudly and clearly and are usually in a hurry, so it makes sense for them to have a female voice because it has the pitch and range. British people mumble and obey authority, so they need someone authoritative." Which, apparently, still means male. • This article was amended on 21 October 2011. The original said the Atlantic magazine was based in Boston. This has been corrected. guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds   Fri, 21 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Opportunity at GWL http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/95/Opportunity-at-GWL http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/95/Opportunity-at-GWL Glasgow Women's Library is recruiting to its team of Non-Executive Directors. ETA: Due to Board and Staff commitments we have an opportunity to extend the deadline for applications to Friday 4th November 2011 They are seeking to augment our team's existing skills and knowledge in the areas of: Financial Management; Legal Issues; HR Management; Business / Strategic Planning; and Social Enterprise Development. We also particularly welcome applications from women from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. If you don't feel you major on the skills above but feel you have something essential to contribute to the Board, please do apply. Glasgow Women's Library faces an exciting and transformational period over the coming years. If you are innovative, energetic, enterprising and courageous, we would love to hear from you. Do you share their vision of a world in which women's historical, cultural and political contributions to society are fully recognised, valued and celebrated by all? Are you committed to devoting some skills, time and energy to towards this vision? Do you have a passion for libraries, archives and museums? Do you believe in the power of learning to change lives for the better? The role of Non-Executive Director is unpaid but certainly not without reward, with reimbursement of travel costs. Previous applicants need not apply. If you would like to join the Board of Directors, find out more by looking at the recruitment pack (available for download below) or email the GWL Secretary, Sue John, atsue.john@womenslibrary.org.uk Deadline for applications: Friday 4th November 2011 Due to Board and Staff commitments the deadline has been extended to Friday 4th November 2011 Interviews will take place during the week beginning Monday 14th or 21st November 2011 Thu, 20 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Why there's no reason to fear feminism | Jonathan Glennie http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/93/Why-theres-no-reason-to-fear-feminism-Jonathan-Glennie http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/93/Why-theres-no-reason-to-fear-feminism-Jonathan-Glennie The focus of this year's Nobel peace prize on women's rights around the world comes hot on the heels of the publication of the World Bank's 2012 world development report (WDR), which focused on the importance of gender equality for development. Women's rights have never been so high on the agenda of the development sector, and this is the culmination of many years of lobbying and struggle by persistent advocates.   That women's rights are at the heart of political debate worldwide is an undoubted political and intellectual triumph. But, as with most victories won by social and political movements, the taste of success is accompanied by the threat of co-option.   What does it mean when staunch conservatives express themselves so comfortably in the language of women's rights and gender equality? Might the radical nature of the movement be watered down to mean something more politically palatable but less transformative in its objectives?   One word, in particular, is conspicuous in its absence: feminism. The word is anathema to conservative or middle-of-the-road politicians in most countries, who see in it a radical and perhaps exaggerated voice.   But even some of the most ardent campaigners for women's rights sometimes view parts of the feminist movement with mistrust, thinking that it represents an agenda for women who are not like them, either in their own country or in the richer western world.   Feminism is misunderstood if it is seen as an imposition of values. The best in the feminist movement have been the historic motors of change, precisely because they do not say what the solutions are, but ask the right questions and empower women to answer them, in whatever particular context they find themselves.   Thus, feminism takes the debate well beyond legal and economic rights, into cultural norms and the transformation of values and attitudes. The WDR recognises that attitudes are slowest to change, noting: "Gender differences are particularly persistent when rooted in deeply entrenched gender roles and social norms."   Feminism is a tool for everyone. The objective should be to help transform societies so that women can decide what role to play, including traditional ones if they choose.   Unfortunately, there is little doubt that the overt certainty with which profound shifts in community or societal norms were promoted in many parts of the world as part of an overall "development" package, has been counter-productive in the long term. While the principles of equality and empowerment at the heart of feminism are non-negotiable, the ways they play out in different contexts are complex and hard to predict.   The arrogance of some westerners in the recent era has been comparable with that of classic western "civilisers", certain that they know what is best for less developed societies, imposing solutions worked out for a different time and place. Women in developing countries who disagree are sometimes assumed to be living in a kind of mental slavery, unenlightened by modern understandings.   This is a dangerous place to inhabit intellectually. In fact, it is these women themselves who are the experts on their own situations, and who need to chart the path of their emancipation.   There is no problem with holding views passionately. The problem arises when you have the power to impose them, either because you hold the purse strings or because you wield influence in some other way, including just being educated and articulate. The imposition of western norms on less powerful communities has led to deep mistrust of the movement in some quarters and will take some time to reverse. An Indian woman whom I was speaking to last month complained that "feminists do not listen" and pointed me in the direction of this article on Arundhati Roy for an insight into some of her concerns about "western feminism".   The certainty that has typified feminist struggle in the west, and has been one of the reasons for its great successes, does not often work cross-culturally. Certainty can only arise indigenously – and there are plenty of national feminist organisations across the world that are leading the fight in their own countries, in their own way (see the debate about the Gisele Bündchen adverts in Brazil, for example). In the international sphere, certainty must be replaced with humility about what the answers are and, crucially, a profound openness to learning from other cultures. The consequences for society of shifts in the roles of men and women tend to be profound and lasting, with progress accompanied by new challenges to be overcome. Such changes are therefore neither to be imposed nor entered into lightly.   The feminist critique is radical in the best sense of the word, as it gets to the root of the issue and thus implies that transformation rather than tinkering is needed. At its best, it is also responsive and caring, rather than hectoring and exaggerated, as it is sometimes portrayed.   So the movement for women's rights and gender equality should reassert feminism boldly as its theoretical underpinning. But it should also take a step back and reassess the terrain, in particular the fact that for some women the word has attained negative associations. Feminists need to humbly reassert principles of equality of opportunity, without suggesting we know what responses particular societies should adopt.   Feminist activists should avoid appearing exclusive, and set out to accompany poor communities on a journey whose destination may be unknown, but whose principles of equality and empowerment are solid. "Embedding a way of thinking, or being, matters more than achieving a specific set of policy proposals," one feminist academic told me, "and is much more powerful in the long term." Gender Feminism Women Jonathan Glennie guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds   Tue, 18 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Queen of Shops Mary Portas says: 'I’m candid and naughty but I don’t bash other women’ http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/86/Queen-of-Shops-Mary-Portas-says-Im-candid-and-naughty-but-I-dont-bash-other-women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/86/Queen-of-Shops-Mary-Portas-says-Im-candid-and-naughty-but-I-dont-bash-other-women From The Telegraph, 13 Octoer 2011Poor Walter, Mary Portas's little black schnoodle (a suitably modish schnauzer-poodle cross), is looking forlorn. His mistress has inadvertently found herself in the doghouse, and Walt appears to be bearing the burden on his slouched canine shoulders. For Portas - famously one of the most liked and pro-female of Britain's television personalities and lately retail guru to the Prime Minister - has allegedly branded the women in David Cameron's Cabinet "an ugly bunch" and committed heresy against the style status of the Duchess of Cambridge. Indignation has erupted, amounting to a collective cry of: "What gives, Queen of Shops? Aren't you supposed to be our champion?" As I arrive at her central London HQ, her assistant is plucking a furious retort from Ann Widdecombe from one of the tabloids. "I'm not even going to read it," her boss laments. "I want to say: 'Ann, it ain't how I feel,' but…" she shrugs wretchedly, sitting among plasticine Mary models sent in by her adoring public. It - we - feel so fond of 51-year-old Portas because she has taken on a role as the sassy standard-bearer of our consumer rights, not least with regard to the female of the species. Where Brits used to cower before its nation of shopkeepers, now - thanks to Mary and her print and prime-time campaigning - we stand proud, with said shopkeepers all the better for it. Whether in her Saturday Telegraph column, her various televisual incarnations, or thrusting new chainstore alliances, we have come to love her as a brighter, pluckier incarnation of our shopping selves. Where we moan on the sidelines, she rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in. There's something about Mary, as David Cameron acknowledged when he asked her to lead a review into the future of the high street. It is a job that she is now taking charge of gratis at least a day or two a week, and relishing it. All the more mortifying, then, to be accused of having a go at our foremost female politicians. As it turns out, Portas's words, which appeared in a magazine interview earlier this week, had been taken so completely out of context as to render them unrecognisably barbed, her natural waggish tendencies coming across as the kind of anti-feminist carping that is the opposite not only of her brand, but of her personality. "It certainly didn't sound like you," I venture. The trademark satsuma bob jerks vigorously: "When you watch me, you know that I do a lot of things tongue-in-cheek - it's about humour. Everything I've been trying to do is to make women of that age group visible and able to wear clothes that reflect where they've come in life and what they've achieved. I'm very candid, straightforward and I've got a very naughty sense of humour. But I do not want to be one of those women who are bashing - that's just not my take." Indeed, she confesses: "I know I'm working with the government, but I wouldn't even know who the women in the Cabinet are." We do a finger count: Home Secretary Theresa May, Conservative chairman Baroness Warsi, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and the Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan. There has been no reaction from any of them, nor, indeed from Number 10, although Portas (having since done some research) has written to all four to explain and apologise. Moreover, it has to be said, the purported criticism was nothing worse than the drubbing these women regularly receive. "I'm sure they're used to it," sighs Portas. "But I don't want to hurt people. It would really pain me. I care about people and I certainly care about women… Abusive is not me, and I don't want to be one of those women - who put [women] into those boxes. It's just destructive, and I don't do destructive. "What I genuinely feel is that they [female politicians] work in a deeply established male place, and I do think a lot of women find it very difficult to know how to come across as professional - and equal in some ways - because it's a phenomenally difficult job. It's just ridiculous because, when it comes down to it, with women and their intellect, furthering their careers is much more sexy than how they dress." We discuss how difficult - borderline impossible - it must be to retain a compelling and authentic public persona while not falling into such traps on an hourly basis. "You do have to look to yourself. I will be more careful, but I don't want to lose me. I don't want to lose that Britishness, because we are candid. Being me is what's got me on TV." The irony is, she actually rather likes the cut of Theresa May's jib. We study an image of the Home Secretary in a multicoloured, geometric outfit. "I didn't even think of her when I was talking. Let's have a look at Theresa. Good for her. I rather like that coat. She's a good-looking woman. Lovely face." She greatly admires the look of Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund: "Powerful, but there's something very sophisticated in the way she's been able to take her style and put it into a very male world, which is bloody difficult." Asked for examples of other high-profile women whose guise she approves of, we take in Samantha Cameron (who "always looks good"), Sarah Brown ("who, actually, I always really liked as well"), Net-a-Porter businesswoman Natalie Massenet ("although she's industry") and Kids Company's Camila Batmanghelidjh, with whom she had a meeting the day before and who informed Portas that she was sporting "Liberty's furniture fabric". If women are taking pleasure in their glad rags, Portas is all for it. As for the Duchess of Cambridge, Portas loves the woman, not least her decision to wear McQueen on her big day. "She's very classic. That's not what we in the industry would call a fashion icon, but I really like her and I think she's done a brilliant job. I like them [the Duchess's little sailor suits and their ilk]. That's not an icon, that's a woman dressing well for the job, and I think that is beautiful. But real fashion icons are the ones who lead, and she can't do that by her job's very nature. It's just ridiculous." Personally, I know there is not a bitchy bone in Portas's body, as I have begged her to lay into my look - utterly different from her own - and she will not even come close. The most she will concede is a fond: "Aw, but you're just like my daughter, you've got that vintage thing going on and it looks great." She conspiratorially commends my shoes, scarf, rocks, refusing to play ball even when I positively goad her with the fact that I'm wearing too much rouge. Even were one to turn up in a dread fascinator - about which she harbours a savage yet legitimate phobia - one senses she would find something positive to say. She is, as her Channel 4 producer is always telling her, "naughty, but nice". Long may both characteristics coexist. Thu, 13 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT 'Bossy women have less sex': not proved by science | Sarah Ditum http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/87/Bossy-women-have-less-sex-not-proved-by-science-Sarah-Ditum http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/87/Bossy-women-have-less-sex-not-proved-by-science-Sarah-Ditum Journalism is a weird branch of alchemy sometimes. Information is lobbed in the fact cauldron, passes through several distillations of reporting, editing and commentary, and finally gets scraped from the bottom of a boiling flask in a mysterious powdery form that bears little or no relation to the original material. You start with a statistical analysis of the link between sub-Saharan African women's decision-making power and how frequently they have sex; you end up with two male writers debating whether bossy women are hot on page 38 of Grazia, underneath a picture of Desperate Housewife and queen Wasp Bree Van de Kamp. It's quite the transformation. In the process, the African women at the centre of the original study are spirited away. Almost every single version of the story that has appeared online since the press release circulating the results of the analysis is illustrated with a picture of a white couple in a bedroom from a shopping catalogue – including the article in Ghana Nation, although the Telegraph opted for a nice photo of Kate Middleton (so incongruous, yet so very, very Telegraph). The authors' actual conclusions have disappeared, too. The study did find "a strong relationship between women's decision-making autonomy and time since last sexual intercourse" – but the definition of "autonomy" falls a long way short of "bossiness". Women included in the survey were asked, for instance, whether they or their husband had the last say on the woman's healthcare, or when the wife could visit family and friends. In the UK, exercising those choices isn't the preserve of the henpecker – they're the bare minimum for a non-abusive relationship. That they're meaningful markers of self-determination for sub-Saharan African women ought to tell us something about the cultural differences involved, and why these findings can't be wilfully transplanted to other settings. And there's the fact that sexual norms in the countries involved mean intercourse often isn't a bucket of fun for the female partner. "For some women," the authors note, "sexual pleasure was the absence of pain." "Understanding how women's position in the household influences their sexual activity may be an essential piece in protecting the sexual rights of women and helping them to achieve a sexual life that is both safe and pleasurable," the study concludes. "WHATEVER!" hoots the mainstream coverage, "We're going to use this to show those uppity broads that if they don't quit their nagging, no man will ever fancy them!" And so to Laura Berman in the Chicago Sun-Times tersely counselling that when women make the bulk of the household decisions, they "chip away at [the marital] bond and at [their husbands'] masculinity". (She uses wet towels and food hygiene as examples of potential conflicts; no word on whether she thinks ladies can pop to the GP on their own and still be sexy.) It doesn't have to be like this, says Dr Petra Boynton, lecturer at UCL and sometime agony aunt: "Another way to treat the study would be to use the finding of women having more autonomy in their relationship feeling more in control over their sex lives. That could extend to talking about what that might look like, how it might feel, and how women and their partners might enjoy this together." What we got instead wasn't news, and it wasn't even useful information about sex – it was the obliteration of African women in the service of western gender angst. Bossiness has its fanciers (hey, there's that guy in Grazia, for a start), but excruciating self-involvement? That's never a turn-on. Sarah Ditum guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds   Thu, 13 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Don't abandon the women of Afghanistan http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/78/Dont-abandon-the-women-of-Afghanistan http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/78/Dont-abandon-the-women-of-Afghanistan On the same day that Ch16 launch their Green Scarf campaign to support the women of Afghanistan Terri Judd writes in the The Indepent  about the plight they face.William Hague and his Nato colleagues are being warned that their efforts to extricate Western troops from Afghanistan threaten to "sell out" the women whose treatment was cited as one of the main evils of the Taliban. A group of leading aid agencies is using the tenth anniversary of the conflict to demand that Mr Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and his counterparts in the Western alliance demonstrate their commitment to the country's women, who they say are being sacrificed at the negotiations with insurgents despite the fact that their fate was one of the original justifications for military action. Later this year, on 5th December 2011 governments will be at a Conference in Bonn , Germany, where they will discuss the peace process in Afghanistan. Show your support by joining in with CH16's photo-petition to call on governments to ensure the voices of Afghan women are heard at the Bonn Conference and that agreements made at the conference explicitly call for women’s rights in Afghanistan to be protected not undermined.   Wear a green scarf and send your photo to CH16 and join the campaign on Facebook Fri, 7 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Facebook is fine with hate speech, as long as it's directed at women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/77/Facebook-is-fine-with-hate-speech-as-long-as-its-directed-at-women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/77/Facebook-is-fine-with-hate-speech-as-long-as-its-directed-at-women It doesn't matter how hard I study Facebook's terms and conditions, I still can't find the bit where it says: "Like Humpty Dumpty, Facebook is at complete liberty to interpret the words used in this document in any way it sees fit." And yet that's obviously what Facebook executives have been doing: making words mean what they want them to mean, or else they'd have removed the pages that promote rape and other forms of violence against women months ago. The specific clause in Facebook's statement of rights and responsibilities that's supposed to protect groups against violence and hate speech instructs the user: "You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence." However, Facebook has now defended the numerous pages that clearly violate these terms by claiming: "Groups that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs – even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some – do not by themselves violate our policies." Which is strange, because if a page entitled "Roses are red, violets are blue, I've got a knife, get in the van" isn't hateful, threatening or gratuitously violent, I don't for the life of me know what is. It was back in August that feminists first began to notice the proliferation of pro-rape pages on the popular social networking site. Two months later over 176,000 people have signed a US-based petition calling on Facebook to take them down, and nearly 4,000 people have signed a UK-based petition calling for the same. The Facebook pages, such as the one cited above and others that include "You know she's playing hard to get when your [sic] chasing her down an alleyway" still remain. Facebook's initial response to the public outcry was to suggest that promoting violence against women was equivalent to telling a rude joke down the pub: "It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining" went the bizarre rape apologia. "Just as telling a rude joke won't get you thrown out of your local pub, it won't get you thrown off Facebook." And in some ways they're right: telling a rude joke probably wouldn't get you thrown out of your local pub. I'd suggest, however, that propping up your local bar while inciting others to rape your mate's girlfriend "to see if she can put up a fight" would not only get you thrown out, it would in all likelihood get you arrested as well. Still, at least you could log on once you got home and post your offensive comments on Facebook instead, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn't do anything about it. What Facebook and others who defend this pernicious hate speech don't seem to get is that rapists don't rape because they're somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street: rapists rape because they can. Rapists rape because they know the odds are stacked in their favour, because they know the chances are they'll get away with it. And part of the reason rapists get away with it, time after time after time, is because we live in a society that all but condones rape. Because we live in a society where it's not taken seriously, and where posting heinous comments online that promote sexual violence are not treated as hate speech or as content that threatens women's safety, but are instead treated as a joke and given a completely free pass. By refusing to take these pages down, and by resorting to such a ridiculous and quite frankly offensive "rude joke" analogy to justify their decision, Facebook executives have made absolutely clear where they stand on the issue of gender hate crime. It's fine to post hateful or threatening content on their site, just as it's fine to post content that incites violence. Well, as long as it's primarily aimed at women, that is. • This article was commissioned after a suggestion by cbarr Cath Elliott guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds   Tue, 4 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Young women now earn more than men http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/73/Young-women-now-earn-more-than-men http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/73/Young-women-now-earn-more-than-men Young women are finally gaining the recognition in their pay packets that their higher qualifications merit, according to new research. Figures show that women aged between 22 and 29 in employment are now earning more on average per hour than men of the same age.The figures were unearthed by Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Admission Service, during research into the gender gap in education. The women's lead in the pay stakes is still only slight - their median hourly pay is now just over £10 an hour compared with just under £10 an hour for men. But it reverses a historic trend. Ms Curnock Cook contrasted the findings with figures from 1997 which showed the opposite. She said that the figures could indicate it had taken a long time for the fact that women were leaving school and university with better qualifications than men to filter its way into the workforce. She argued that it could lead to young couples deciding after having a child that it makes sense for the woman to become the breadwinner - because of her higher earnings potential. "The gender pay gap may take another generation to close as the pay feeds through to the more senior workforce," she said. The figures show that the gap between men and women's hourly pay is also closing among 18- to 21-year-olds and 30- to 39-year-olds. It is only among older workers - 40- to 49-year-olds, many of whom would have left school before the explosion in women's qualifications began - that men remain significantly ahead of women, earning just over £14 per hour on average while women earn just £12. Overall, too, the gap between the extra that women can expect to earn from obtaining a degree, and the extra men can expect, remains significant: £82,000 compared with £121,000. Ms Curnock Cook, who was delivering the Elizabeth Johnson memorial lecture at the Institute of Physics, stressed: "I wouldn't want anyone to think I've come and solved the gender gap in pay rates." A number of factors could impact upon future earnings of men and women, she conceded. However, the figures did show it could make sense for some couples for the woman to go back to work after childbirth and for the man to take on the caring role. Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute shows that women now not only outnumber men overall at university, but they also outnumber them at every type of university. They are also more likely to get a 2:1 degree pass and are less likely to drop out. The institute's figures show 49.2 per cent of women opt for higher education compared with just 37.2 per cent of men. In the post-1992 universities (the former polytechnics), there are 23.8 per cent of the women cohort and 18 per cent of men. The latest exam statistics show the biggest gender gap in GCSE performance yet, with girls 6.7 percentage points ahead of boys at A* level, and with more than one in four (26.5 per cent) registering a top-grade pass this year. At A-level, though, the gap has closed with 8.2 per cent of each sex registering A* grades. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: "I am pleased that young females are now earning more but we still have a lot of work to do before we bridge the pay gap between men and women in higher education, especially at professorial level. Last month, the Chartered Institute of Management reported that junior female managers are earning marginally more than their male peers for the first time, but that the pay gap stubbornly persists when averaged across all job and age levels. The institute warned that it would take a century before the average salary for female executives caught up with that of their male peers. This month, the Supreme Court will hear a test case for equal pay brought by Sheffield dinner ladies and careworkers that could have implications for tens of thousands of women who claim they are paid less than men doing comparable jobs. The outcome could affect wages paid to council and NHS workers where some specialised roles have traditionally been performed almost exclusively by separate groups of men or women. Mon, 3 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT 80% of Scottish Centenarians are Women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/53/80-of-Scottish-Centenarians-are-Women http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/53/80-of-Scottish-Centenarians-are-Women Figures from the Registrar General estimate that in 2010 there were 820 centenarians living in Scotland. George MacKenzie, Registrar General for Scotland, said: "The number of Scottish centenarians has been steadily rising, from 570 in 2002 to 820 in 2010, an increase of 44 per cent. Around eight out of every 10 centenarians are women. Estimates for 2010 show a rise in the number of people aged 90 to 99, partly because the number of births during the year 1920 was at its highest level since the introduction of national registration in 1855. This was the large birth cohort after the First World War." A century ago, centenarians in Scotland were very unusual, but this changed at the beginning of the 21st century when estimates showed there were over 500 people aged 100 years old and over in Scotland. The number of centenarians has been increasing ever since.. The overwhelming majority of centenarians are women. In 2010, women accounted for 690 of Scotland's centenarians (84 per cent) while 130 men had reached the milestone. Although the male population aged 90 to 99 increased substantially from 2009 to 2010, almost three quarters of people in their 90s are women (73 per cent). Relative to the rest of the population, the number of centenarians has increased since 2002, especially over the last few years, but there are still less than two centenarians for every 10,000 people (1.6 per 10,000). Sun, 2 Oct 2011 00:00:00 GMT Come back 'Superwoman': the lost ideal of combining motherhood and work http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/50/Come-back-Superwoman-the-lost-ideal-of-combining-motherhood-and-work http://www.weawomenatwork.org.uk/featured/article/50/Come-back-Superwoman-the-lost-ideal-of-combining-motherhood-and-work You remember Superwoman: she had a baby under one arm, a briefcase under the other, a phone between her ear and her shoulder, and she could talk eating toast (she still ate carbs: obesity was never her problem because she was always so busy). She didn't wear shoulder pads (that was Career Woman: never that popular, thanks to Sigourney Weaver), and she didn't wear her pants over her tights (that was first-wave Superwoman). Her real-life embodiment was Nicola Horlick who, in 1996, was 35 years old, a mother of five, and one of the highest earners in the city. She was always modest about this, and said at the time that probably the more difficult job was to raise children while struggling for money, rather than have a job and children when you could afford to employ whoever you liked (if you're surprised to hear a banker sounding like a leftie, remember these were the giddy 90s, when we were all intensely relaxed about the super-rich). Superwoman's fictional embodiment was, of course, Kate Reddy, in Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It, who is made flesh this weekend by Sarah Jessica Parker as the film arrives in cinemas. It was a cultural ideal, and probably bore no more relation to the lives of working mothers than the Yummy Mummy did to mothers who didn't work. But even if she didn't embody reality, she said a lot about our expectations, of ourselves, of each other, of the family and of work. She was characterised by her very specific sense of failure, which was rueful but nonchalant at the same time: Pearson's iconic image had Kate Reddy smashing up shop-bought mince pies to make them look as though she'd made them herself. As I was casting about yesterday for classic stories of the 90s maternal experience, someone threw me this pearl: her boss had gone out for a meeting, and while she was out, the consultant had called to say that she'd missed her planned caesarean. Too posh to even not push! The flipside of all this, of course, was that mothers who stayed at home felt disregarded by the ideal, and took it as an accusation. I didn't have kids at the time, and was working at the Evening Standard. I remember a little book arrived in the office; its title escapes me, but it was smart ripostes for at-home mothers to give to career women who looked down on them. If they call you stupid, it said, reply, "at least I was clever enough to find a man who could keep me". What is striking today, as you see a bus fly past with a poster of SJP – briefcase? Check! Kid paraphernalia? Check! – is that this ideal has been totally scotched. It is no longer cool to be the kind of person who does an important job well, and does motherhood slightly less well. I Don't Know How She Does It wouldn't be written now, and the film is a nostalgia piece, a document of social history. Culture does respond to reality, even if it doesn't accurately represent it, so there are a number of real circumstances behind this change. Justine Roberts, co-founder of Mumsnet, says: "Certainly it's cooler to stay at home than it was. It's not taken as given that everyone wants to work and have children and do it all any more. It's partly an economic consequence of the job situation getting worse and childcare costs getting higher. A lot of people have realised it's not worth the stress." The economics of it are quite new: unemployment has only been climbing since the crash, and the Daycare Trust's research on childcare costs show the steep rises that have happened in the last five years. Median earnings are approximately £21,000. The average nursery now costs £8,500 per child, per year, so anybody with more than one child wouldn't break even. But this isn't just about money: Roberts points to an underlying trend started by the last government. "They were wedded to their targets and directives and lists, very often it was five things you had to do, five fruit and veg or five hours of play or whatever. There were suddenly so many things that it's almost impossible to do if you're a stay-at-home mum, let alone if you're also working." This is a rare aspect of New Labour policy that the coalition has taken up with some alacrity. Have a look at these "five commandments" from Parenting Matters, a report by Centre Forum, the "liberal thinktank" (their description): 1) Read to your child for 15 minutes; 2) Play with your child on the floor for 10 minutes; 3) Talk with your child for 20 minutes with the television off; 4) Adopt positive attitudes towards your child and praise them frequently; 5) Give your child a nutritious diet to aid development. The point is not that these tasks would be unthinkable if you also had a job: rather, that governmental intrusion into the business of parenting is now quite routine, and this has, as well as putting pressure on mothers, intensified the sense that motherhood is the only role of meaning, and the career is only there so you can buy more stuff for your emperor child. One final thing from Roberts: "Our parents would never play with us. I don't remember my parents playing with me except on holiday." Everybody I spoke to said this, in a sort of mystified way: wasn't it different when we were kids? Didn't our mothers just toss us into the garden and go back to chatting to their friends? When did parenting become so hands-on? More pertinent is how this became such a pressing matter of government concern – the conversation around early years is becoming increasingly prescriptive, with specific reference to the neuroscience of the infant brain: Aric Sigman came out this week with a paper in which he drew an express link between going to nursery, having raised levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), and this leading to almost limitless problems in later life. This is by no means a settled matter: Dorothy Bishop, a professor of experimental psychology, disputed these conclusions in the Guardian this week. But, increasingly, nursery care is presented as somewhere on a spectrum between negligence and child abuse. Since the alternatives are even more expensive (if you wanted one-to-one childcare, you'd have to be earning £35,000 just to break even) this casts a huge shadow of disapproval over the opening proposition that you might want to have children and have a job. In Oliver James's How Not to F*** Them Up, he gives this order of preference for well-balanced children (much of it based, incidentally, on that same cortisol research): one-to-one care up until the age of three, by the mother; then the father; then a grandparent; then a nanny. The idea that a mother might not want to do three years of childcare, or might want adult company for intellectual stimulation, is completely absent. So you take this vital relationship, which is supposedly at the core of our civilisation, and only the child's needs are in it. James gives the caveat that a mother with postnatal depression would not be the ideal care-giver: in order for a mother to have her emotional state considered part of this equation, she has to catastrophise it, so she's not just a bit bored, she's on the point of suicide. It reminds me of the absurd business where two doctors have to sign you off as about to go mad before you can have an abortion. Pretending to be insane seems like a perverse price to pay for self-determination. If the mother is recast as the only perfect carer, and all children deserve perfection, then having a job becomes a grim necessity or a dirty secret. Gaby Hinsliff, author of the blog Used to Be Somebody, who is writing a book about this conundrum, Half a Wife, says: "What seems to be pitched is a kind of stealth career, where you are doing something really interesting that you love, but it's not interfering with your life. So instead of Superwoman, we have the mumpreneur, running an organic food empire from her kitchen table in Fulham and then baking all afternoon. And that's not very realistic either." Ellie Lee, a sociologist at Kent University, agrees with this stealth aspect: "People will say secretly to their friends that they enjoy their work, but you have this really apologetic presentation of self amongst working mothers – you know, 'I'd rather work a bit less, I'd rather be with my children'. And for plenty of women, that would be true, if you've got a job that you hate. But there are plenty of women around who really like their jobs, and even if they're ambivalent, they know for sure that a life without work would be a less enjoyable life. Adults need to do adult things. We should be able to share childcare, and it should be called childcare. Instead, people are calling it "early years provision". Any sensible society would think of childcare as a way to help adults. But that's not how it works any more – the sector is all about early brain development." There's another element, which is that the Superwoman image receded because it just wasn't working. Marie O'Riordan was the editor of Elle from 1996 to 1998, then editor of Marie Claire for the 2000s. "In our office, I always felt that it wasn't realistic, that the women who worked for me were really struggling with the Allison Pearson phenomenon – not many husbands seemed to do that much childcare, and they did generally start to slow their careers down. Meanwhile, in the pages of the magazines, we were proselytising Superwoman as a reality. We were projecting 'You can have it all' in the content, and we weren't managing it. But it had become a feminist chant; it was foolish to challenge it. And then it veered to, 'We can't have it all, so we're going to support women who choose to give up work altogether.' But most women do want to go back to work, because it's much more fun than childcare." That's what the Kate Reddy ideal did for women, and that's what made her so super: if it was quite an unrealistic aspiration, there was also a lot of honesty about the maternal identity. So, for instance, you could admit that you weren't terrifically good at it, all the time, that you found bits of it quite boring, and that you sometimes put yourself first. Even if "having it all" really meant "doing it all", you could at least admit that you didn't do it all flawlessly. There is much less scope for maternal imperfection in today's ideal, even while there is, of course, more scope for having a very imperfect CV and no pension. The world still needs you, Superwoman. Though hopefully next time you won't work for a bank. Parents and parenting Women Work-life balance Feminism Sarah Jessica Parker Childcare Zoe Williams guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. 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