Archives for August 3rd, 2004

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN TAKE ON OLD BOY’S NETWORK

Abstracts, PublicNet: 3 August, 2004

New girls networks’ are challenging the traditional power of some of the most established old boy networks such as the senior civil service, according to a Demos report ‘Girlfriends in High Places’. The research from five government departments and Norman Broadbent, a recruitment consultancy – shows how men rely on informal networks to help them to operate inside organisational hierarchies such as the civil service. Women are often effectively excluded from informal networks at work because they don’t engage in small-talk about football which enables men to bond before meetings, nor are they around for pub trips because of working flexible hours.The report argues that the growth in women’s professional networks, including one for senior female civil servants, has the potential to change work place culture in a way that benefits women. Women’s professional networks counter gender inequality by connecting their members. Of the members of women’s professional networks surveyed in the report, 87% said that the fact they were women-only made them attractive. The report suggests we could be entering a new era of work-based ‘networked feminism’ which is better suited to today’s complex gender politics where women have to juggle many different personal and professional identities.

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MORE CASH FOR DOCTOR’S SURGERIES

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 August, 2004

In a move to refurbish and upgrade doctor’s surgeries a fund of 108 million pounds is being made available. This funding is additional to the 1.19 billion pounds already being invested in primary care premises over the next two years. The extra money is being allocated to designated lead primary care trusts who will work with local organisations to fund developments that have a real need and support from their community.The money will be used in a number of different ways. Grants will be made to improve surgeries. Schemes which create more space to accommodate new trainee doctors and nurse practitioners in surgeries will be extended. Capital will also be made available for refurbishing doctors premises owned by PCTs. In addition, funds will be available for buying up old leases on surgeries and for buying land to enable future development.

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COUNCILS JOIN UP TO CUT COSTS

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 August, 2004

Local councils in Wales are joining up to get better deals from their suppliers. By appointing a single negotiator to represent the group they are able to lever the costs downwards. Following a pilot project for procuring telecommunication services, which produced savings of 1.5 million pounds, all councils in Wales have joined together in a move to reduce call charges. The savings from this collaborative procurement initiative are estimated at more than 6.7 million pounds which gives an average saving of 26 per cent on previous prices paid. The scheme is being widened to include NHS trusts and Assembly Sponsored Bodies.The Collective Procurement Project has been led by the Welsh Procurement Initiative. Richard Dooner, project manager said: “A collaborative approach has realised huge savings for the public sector in the area of telecommunications – so it’s clear that working together really does pay!”

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