Scotland: 25 women of influence in the civil service:
Scotland’s permanent secretary, Leslie Evans, recalls her career progression by telling a story about how she was encouraged to improve relations between a certain female government minister and civil servants by discussing lipstick.
It seems laughable now that any employer would have the temerity to try and broker good relations in the workplace by falling into clichés and stereotypes about what women might want to discuss, but that anecdote from our top mandarin wasn’t from the Dark Ages, it was from the year 2000.
With a woman at the top of the civil service in Scotland along with a female first minister and three women party leaders in the Scottish Parliament it is sometimes easy to forget that it hasn’t always been this way.
But the truth is there is still a very long way to go for women to have true parity in the workplace with men, which is why legally enforced quotas on public sector boards will be a step in the right direction.
And it is why Holyrood magazine is using this issue to celebrate 25 women of influence in the public sector who have broken through the glass ceiling by sheer strength of personality, ability and hard work. They are an inspiration.
This is just a small, and by no means comprehensive, selection of the women who have been at the forefront of the march towards equality in Scotland, but they have been the pioneers for us all and they are the role models for the future.