Professor McKay, who died in March 2014, is recognised for her key role in influencing government policy decisions that affect the lives of women, children and families. Her work championed the position of women in Scotland’s economy in a number of important areas. She was a leading advocate of gender budgeting and had a significant influence on the way in which the Scottish Government presents its annual budget statement. She successfully convinced key policy makers of the transformational economic impact of increased public investment in childcare provision. In addition she argued strongly for a Citizen’s Basic Income and the significant contribution it could make to increased gender equality.

Launched in October 2010, Women in Scotland’s Economy Research Centre (WiSE) aims to promote and make visible women’s contribution to Scotland’s economy through high quality research, consultancy and knowledge transfer activities. WiSE was Professor McKay's vision and the realisation of her work and continued aspirations for gender equality in the economy and wider society. The work of WiSE continues.