The Queen’s Business School Annual Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture, in association with The Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s, ‘Do we need more women in economic policy?’ will be given by Dame Kate Barker, one of the leading policy-oriented economists of her generation.

This event will be held in-person at Riddel Hall, Belfast on Wednesday 11 October 2023 from 5.30 – 7.10pm.

About our Speaker

The 2023 Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture will be given by Dame Kate Barker. One of the leading policy-oriented economists of her generation, Kate Barker has had an extraordinarily diverse career including roles as Chief Economist at Ford of Europe, Economic Advisor to the CBI and three terms as a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. She served as a board member of the Office for Budget Responsibility, and is currently a member of the Governing Council of the Productivity Institute. Between 2010-2015, Kate chaired the Northern Ireland Economic Advisory Group which sought to identify practical ways of addressing Northern Ireland’s productivity.

Kate has a longstanding interest in social policy questions particularly housing and pensions. She conducted major reviews of UK housing supply and land use planning in the early 2000s. Some of the results of her work in this area are summarised in Housing: Where’s the plan? 2014. The proposals continue to be relevant a decade later.

Early in her career, Kate worked in the pensions industry. Later her involvement with the sector was as a trustee member or trustee chair. In 2000, Kate took on the demanding role of chair of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, the largest non-governmental scheme in the UK.

About the Lecture Series

In June 2019, former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, formally launched the Queen’s Business School Annual Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture Series during an event at the University. The new lecture series is part of Queen’s Business School’s mission to promote greater equality and diversity in the workplace, particularly with regards to ensuring equality of opportunity and respect for diversity across the University and the wider community.

About Mary McAleese

Mary McAleese, who is a Professor of Children, Law and Religion at the University of Glasgow, discussed female empowerment, same sex marriage, misogyny and homophobia, during the course of the event.

A barrister by profession, she graduated from the School of Law at Queen’s in 1973 and was called to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1974. She was appointed Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin the following year and later took up the position of Director of the Institute of Legal Studies at Queen’s in 1987. Professor McAleese became the University’s first female Pro-Vice-Chancellor in 1994.

Mary McAleese, was elected the 8th President of Ireland in November 1997, succeeding Mary Robinson. She is the second female president of Ireland, the first president from Northern Ireland and served as for two terms until November 2011.