Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

Women Talk Money – conference 1

Friday 9th March 2012 I attended a conference organised by women@work    twitter = @WEAWomenatWork
facebook =
The theme was ‘Women Talk Money’ -The twitter # was #womentalkmoney
It was in the Council Chamber in Council HQ building which was a nice wee toe into another world for many of us.
It is difficult to capture events like this, as By the time i get home I have to hit the ground running to catch up with work and there is so much to take in during these event. I have gotten into the habit of taking copious notes at conferences to try and get the most of out things. So i’ll go through them & try to make some sense of all the scribbled statistics for you.

I do not like economics, not because I am a girl, but because I am an artist and numbers just sort of swim vaguely around my head, I also don’t like the current economic models with the obbsession with GDP, that our weighted to the top version of capitalism is based upon. I do not like words like ‘enterprise’, as they seem to be used by people who value money making over social benefits, the can often be focused all about the individuals ‘success’ ( social enterprises being the exception of course ). The whole notion of ‘business’ is often about making money for moneys sake and for career kudos, dog eat dog, rather than trying to achieve something worthwhile. As Citizen Kane said, ‘ making money is easy if all you want to do is make money’ . However, I saw that Lesley Riddoch was chairing this event and could not resist signing up as she is brilliant! I am very glad I attended as much to my surprise, the conference was not full of power dressing right wing business women but had a wide range of women from all walks, incomes and interests. A few familiar faces, community activists and creatives I know. The atmosphere was inspirational and empowering, of equality, mutual support and respect was just the same as I have come to expect at trade union women’s events.

I have been working on a community development project with a committee, we have been getting mentored and supported by a financial and business expert. He has pressed upon us the need for the whole committee to take responsibility for all the tasks, especially the financial aspects, which normally get burdened on the treasurer alone. We need to all support the treasurer by understanding what is going on, this shares the burden, empowered us, and fosters inclusion and transparency. We are usually taught that money is too technical, not to be understood by the likes of us, and we shy away from it. This seems to be what happens with economics as well ( and politics ! ) on a wider scale, Money matters are seen as the root of the problem, a complex and toxic thing to avoid. Well someone has to deal with it, so surely it is better that this is done by people who are not driven by greed, like for example, progressive community minded women ( and men of course ) ?
Instead of dry discussions about making money which i had feared- we had wonderful inspirational speakers on the gender pay gap, the inequality pay gap, credit unions, alternative economic models, social issues and values. Everything we discussed came back around to the need for holistic solutions, transport, working flexibility, childcare, progressive tax systems, fairer banking etc

I’ll write the different facts and figures separately to prevent blog reader fatigue. There is some really important information that we need to be discussing on a regular basis. We need to talk about these things outwith women only circles, the numbers matter, as everyone is now a victim of our current economic systems, even it seems the very rich ( I’ll explain this later ).
Here is a nice coloured Graph to lure you into the next blog where I will write about the overall economic and social impact of inequality and other issues that were discussed.

The Richest 1/5th of people are 7.2 x richer in the UK than the poorest 1/5th . As you can see here this puts us shamefully as one of the most unequal countries in the world.
Is this good or bad, it sounds kind of wrong from a gut feeling point of view, but is it?  Tune in next blog & i’ll explain how very bad it is in very real measurable terms !

If you read my blog to see nice artwork, I apologise but starving artists need to be part of the solution like everyone else, pretty pictures are just part of the whole picture.

But here is an oldie to keep us all going. The blog seems to be mightier than the sword these days.
 part 2 to follow.


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This entry was posted on March 10, 2012 by in Blog.

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