Kay is Professor of Communities and Race Relations and holds a PhD in Sociology. She held senior positions at Glasgow Caledonian University, The University of Durban-Westville, South Africa and the Strategic Planning Department at Durban City Council (SA). As an applied research specialist, Kay spent most of her time actively applying her academic knowledge in practical contexts, shaping policies and strategies in government, public and voluntary sectors.
Being a strong advocate for equality, dignity and fairness, she is actively involved in regulatory and human rights work. Kay works as a freelance consultant, specialising in social researcher and assisting private, public and voluntary organisations in developing strategies for implementing Human Rights and Equality in their strategic and business activities.
She is currently a; Public Appointments Assessor, Commission for Ethical Standards in Public Life, Lay Member, Scottish Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal and a Non-Executive Director of the Scottish Prison Service Advisory Board. Kay is also a Patron of IARS (Independent Academic Research Studies).
More recently she was a Commissioner for the Scottish Human Rights Commission; Chair/Deputy Chair and Scotland Commissioner of the Commission for Racial Equality; Scottish Chair and UK Board member of the BIG Lottery Fund; Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission UK; Member, Council of the Scottish Law Society, Convenor of its Equality and Diversity Committee and a member of its Regulatory Committee and Adjudicating Panel Member, General Teaching Council for Scotland.
She also served as Trustee for several Scottish Voluntary organisations over the past 20 years, including the Scottish Association for Mental Health.
She is a fellow of The Higher Education Academy and the RSA