Annual Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture Series
In June 2019, former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, formally launched the Queen’s Management School Annual Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture Series. This annual event is now part of Queen’s Management School’s mission to promote greater equality of opportunities and respect for diversity in the workplace, delivered in association with the Chief Executives’ Club at QUB.
Mary McAleese is barrister by profession, graduating from the School of Law at Queen’s in 1973 and 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.
In November 1997, Mary McAleese was elected the 8th President of Ireland. She was the second female to hold this role and the first President from Northern Ireland. She served two terms until November 2021, and is now a Professor of Children, Law and Religion at the University of Glasgow.
Inaugural Lecture 2019: Mary McAleese
Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, delivered the inaugural lecture at Riddel Hall in 2019. Mary focused on female empowerment, same sex marriage, misogyny and homophobia.
Mary was welcomed by then Head of School, Professor Nola Hewitt-Dundas:
"I am delighted that former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has loaned her name to this new lecture series at Queen’s Management School.
“The School is committed to promoting equality and wider diversity in the workplace with a particular focus on gender equality. The lecture series will highlight the importance of diversity and will inform us of the latest research and practice.
“Speakers from diverse backgrounds will act as role models for staff and students in the Management School and wider community.”
2020 Lecture: Dr Anita Sands
In February 2020, Dr Anita Sands was our guest speaker for the annual Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture.
Anita is a board director, investor and advisor, originally from Ireland but now US-based. A former Fulbright Scholar, she holds a Masters in Public Policy and Management as well as a Ph.D. in Atomic and Molecular Physics from Queen's University Belfast. She spent ten years in financial services in North America before pivoting into a diverse portfolio career as a global technology and business leader.
Dr Sands has long been an advocate of greater diversity in the workplace. Speaking during her lecture entitled, ‘The Future of Work and Women’, Dr Sands said:
“Diversity and gender equality are a fundamental business and social imperative and our success as leaders in business, not to mention our future prosperity as a country, depends on it.
“For us as women, this is literally the opportunity of a lifetime; the chance for us to not just step up and lean-in but to be resoundingly unapologetic for asserting our presence and raising our voices in every sphere of life and work.”
2021 Lecture: Lady Brenda Hale
Baroness Hale of Richmond and Former President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, Lady Brenda Hale, gave the hybrid 2021 Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture entitled 'Women are Equal to Everything', which can be watched in full below.
'Women Are Equal To Everything'
Lady Hale studied Law at Cambridge and was called to the Bar in 1969. In 1984, she became the first woman and the youngest person to be appointed to the Law Commission. She was appointed a QC in 1989, and became a full time judge in the High Court of England and Wales in 1994. Lady Hale was the first and only woman to become a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, and the first woman to serve on the newly created Supreme Court, elected as President from 2017 to 2020.
2022 Lecture: Professor Deirdre McCloskey
The 2022 Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture was given by Professor Deirdre McCloskey, a Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and Economic History at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Trained at Harvard as an economist, she has written twenty four books and some four hundred academic and popular articles on economic history, rhetoric, philosophy, statistical theory, economic theory, feminism, queer studies, liberalism, ethics and law.
'...Why Gender Diversity Promotes Prosperity and Peace'
Deirdre describes herself as a literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive-Episcopalian, ex Marxoid, Midwestern woman who was once a man. Crossing: A Memoir (1999; 2019 with an Afterword) is a moving and sensitive account of Deirdre’s transition. Deirdre is an advocate of robust discussion and is a strong supporter of academic freedom. She has ancestral roots in Northern Ireland and is an honorary professor in Queen’s Management School.