Mary O’Keeffe
Policy - Equality
What We Mean By Equality For Jersey the equalities agenda is about fairness: that is, equal treatment and equal opportunity. It is not right or fair when people are discriminated against because of who they are or what they believe in, the colour of their skin, their sex being male or female, and their sexuality And it is not right or fair when the opportunities open to people are not based on their ambition, ability or hard work, but on other factors like nepotism. But even as we increase equality of opportunity, some people will always do better than others. And, certainly, I do not believe in a world where everybody gets the same out of life, regardless of what they put in. That is why no government should try to ensure equal outcomes for everyone. It has become a cliché, ’women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Gender equality is fair and women cannot be excluded in the decision making process. Yes ….we do think differently to men at times but is this a bad thing? No this is a good thing. I have seen in business meetings how the tone and attitude can change very quickly and often situations can become softer and achieve more. FTSe 100 companies by law have to have at least 3 female board members on their boards as part of their basic compliance where as in Jersey we have less despite the fact we have an excellent not for profit training on island for female candidates. Interestingly enough 40% of women on boards have training prior to sitting the board in comparison to a figure of 17% of men!!!!  Yes we have more men on boards in Jersey. We need more diversification in our boards and not having the same board members on multiple boards in Jersey. But I do need to recognise that in trying to ensure equality of opportunity - the “gap” still matters. Those growing up in households which have fallen too far behind have fewer opportunities available to them and they are less able to take the opportunities that are available. It can be seen in families of three generations who have no qualifications and no job. But you do not improve the lives of those at the bottom by limiting the ambitions and opportunities of others. Instead, we need to design intelligent policies that give those at the bottom real opportunities to make a better life for themselves. Achieving equality of treatment and equality of opportunity are aims that the vast majority of people would regard as sensible and noble goals for government policy. But in recent years, equality has become a dirty word because it meant something different. It came to be associated with the worst forms of pointless political correctness and social engineering. I want to turn around the equalities agenda and I want to change people’s perception of what we should try  to achieve on equality. I want us to move away from the identity politics of the past - where government thought it knew all about you because you ticked a box on a form or fitted into a certain category - and instead start to recognise that we are an island of individuals. And that means demonstrating that equality is for everyone by making it a part of everyday life. We know our government doesn’t know what’s best but can act as a leader, a convenor and an advocate for change. But on its own it will only ever make limited progress. We need to work with people, communities and businesses to empower them to enact change. Only if we do that; only if we work with the grain of human nature, not against it, will we achieve the fairer, more equal and more prosperous society that we all want to see. Why Equality matters We can all agree on our ultimate aim of a better society. But I want to explain why equality of opportunity and equal treatment will help us to achieve that better society. I think there are three main reasons: moral, social and economic. Morally, everyone would agree that people have a right to be treated equally and to live their lives free from discrimination. Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of discrimination knows how painful, hurtful and damaging it can be and why we should seek to eliminate it from our society. And anyone who has ever witnessed discrimination would want to stamp it out. So equality is not just important to us as individuals. It is also essential to our well- being as a society. Strong communities are ones where everyone feels like they have got a voice and can make a difference. And those people within communities who are allowed to fall too far behind are more likely to get caught up in social problems like crime, addiction and unemployment. With my role as a Centenier I have seen first hand how some families struggle and the consequences. That brings me on to the third reason why equality matters. Economically, equality of opportunity is vital to our prosperity. It is central to building a strong, modern economy that benefits from the talents of all of its members.
Email:  info@mary.je Mobile: +44 (0)7797 852273
Mary O’Keeffe
Policy - Equality
What We Mean By Equality For Jersey the equalities agenda is about fairness: that is, equal treatment and equal opportunity. It is not right or fair when people are discriminated against because of who they are or what they believe in, the colour of their skin, their sex being male or female, and their sexuality And it is not right or fair when the opportunities open to people are not based on their ambition, ability or hard work, but on other factors like nepotism. But even as we increase equality of opportunity, some people will always do better than others. And, certainly, I do not believe in a world where everybody gets the same out of life, regardless of what they put in. That is why no government should try to ensure equal outcomes for everyone. It has become a cliché, ’women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Gender equality is fair and women cannot be excluded in the decision making process. Yes ….we do think differently to men at times but is this a bad thing? No this is a good thing. I have seen in business meetings how the tone and attitude can change very quickly and often situations can become softer and achieve more. FTSe 100 companies by law have to have at least 3 female board members on their boards as part of their basic compliance where as in Jersey we have less despite the fact we have an excellent not for profit training on island for female candidates. Interestingly enough 40% of women on boards have training prior to sitting the board in comparison to a figure of 17% of men!!!!  Yes we have more men on boards in Jersey. We need more diversification in our boards and not having the same board members on multiple boards in Jersey. But I do need to recognise that in trying to ensure equality of opportunity - the “gap” still matters. Those growing up in households which have fallen too far behind have fewer opportunities available to them and they are less able to take the opportunities that are available. It can be seen in families of three generations who have no qualifications and no job. But you do not improve the lives of those at the bottom by limiting the ambitions and opportunities of others. Instead, we need to design intelligent policies that give those at the bottom real opportunities to make a better life for themselves. Achieving equality of treatment and equality of opportunity are aims that the vast majority of people would regard as sensible and noble goals for government policy. But in recent years, equality has become a dirty word because it meant something different. It came to be associated with the worst forms of pointless political correctness and social engineering. I want to turn around the equalities agenda and I want to change people’s perception of what we should try  to achieve on equality. I want us to move away from the identity politics of the past - where government thought it knew all about you because you ticked a box on a form or fitted into a certain category - and instead start to recognise that we are an island of individuals. And that means demonstrating that equality is for everyone by making it a part of everyday life. We know our government doesn’t know what’s best but can act as a leader, a convenor and an advocate for change. But on its own it will only ever make limited progress. We need to work with people, communities and businesses to empower them to enact change. Only if we do that; only if we work with the grain of human nature, not against it, will we achieve the fairer, more equal and more prosperous society that we all want to see. Why Equality matters We can all agree on our ultimate aim of a better society. But I want to explain why equality of opportunity and equal treatment will help us to achieve that better society. I think there are three main reasons: moral, social and economic. Morally, everyone would agree that people have a right to be treated equally and to live their lives free from discrimination. Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of discrimination knows how painful, hurtful and damaging it can be and why we should seek to eliminate it from our society. And anyone who has ever witnessed discrimination would want to stamp it out. So equality is not just important to us as individuals. It is also essential to our well-being as a society. Strong communities are ones where everyone feels like they have got a voice and can make a difference. And those people within communities who are allowed to fall too far behind are more likely to get caught up in social problems like crime, addiction and unemployment. With my role as a Centenier I have seen first hand how some families struggle and the consequences. That brings me on to the third reason why equality matters. Economically, equality of opportunity is vital to our prosperity. It is central to building a strong, modern economy that benefits from the talents of all of its members.
Email:  info@mary.je Mobile: +44 (0)7797 852273
@maryfordeupty