Business Women Scotland Awards

First Minister adds voice to women’s awards

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon: speaking at inaugural awards (photo by Terry Murden)

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon will shine a spotlight on the importance of women in enterprise at an awards ceremony in Glasgow next week.

She will address the inaugural Business Women Scotland Awards, in association with Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

The First Minister will be joined by keynote speaker Jessica Butcher, co-founder and non-executive director of technology firm Blippar, who will make a call for more collaboration across enterprise agencies and the private sector to encourage more women to start their own businesses.

The Awards honour the achievements of business women from throughout Scotland, whether as an employer, employee, sole trader or in the third sector.

Businesses shortlisted include a scaffolding company, a breastfeeding bra business, a waste management company and an enterprise investment firm. The range of finalists challenges traditional women’s business stereotypes and demonstrates the breadth and depth of businesses run by women across Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I am delighted to see Business Women Scotland and Women’s Enterprise Scotland joining forces to celebrate and reward the best of Scotland’s women-led businesses.

“These awards show that there are many skilled businesswomen here in Scotland and we need to engage all of that talent to keep growing our economy.  A diverse range of businesses is vital for a vibrant and prosperous Scotland and collaboration is key to success.”

Carolyn Currie, chief operating officer at Women’s Enterprise Scotland said: “No nation can afford to restrict its pool of talent when seeking to grow productivity and competitiveness.

“Diversity powers innovation and creates a vibrant and prosperous economy. At the Awards we will highlight the achievements of the growing numbers of women-led businesses in Scotland and create a range of accessible role models to inspire more women to achieve their business aspirations.”

Also speaking at the Awards is Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who will deliver an address via videolink.

Mrs Gadhia was author of ‘Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services’ and the catalyst for the Women in Finance Charter, a pledge for gender balance across financial services.

She said; “I am delighted to be involved in honouring the achievements of business women from throughout Scotland. We need diversity in business to reflect our society and to be innovative, creative and relevant.

“Creating the right culture for both women and men to flourish not only powers productivity and business performance, it is quite simply the right thing to do.”

David Ferguson, CEO of sponsor Nucleus Financial Group said; “While we’ve managed to make progress in growing our business and introducing greater transparency to financial services, I fear we haven’t achieved enough in promoting inclusion in either financial services or technology.

“We’re working harder than ever to put that right and I really hope that with the help of industry role models such as Jessica and Jayne-Anne that the shift toward more diverse senior teams will accelerate. Everyone at Nucleus is really excited to back these awards and look forward to celebrating with the winners.”

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