First Minister speaks about Gender Equality at UofG

The First Minister for Scotland, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, delivered a lecture on the subject of gender equality to University staff, students and members of the public on Tuesday 3 February in the University of Glasgow’s famous Bute Hall.
The First Minster was invited to speak at her alma mater by the Successful Women at Glasgow (SWAG) society, a student-led group who work for the promotion of women in the working world.

She told an audience of almost 800 people that she is “very acutely” aware of the responsibility and privilege of being the first woman to hold the post and offered her advice to other young women who may be entering the world of work.

First Minister on gender equality in society

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Getting women to succeed and getting to the point where we have a gender equal country is very, very important to me.

“I firmly believe that you should succeed on your abilities and how hard you work and your gender, family or race should not hold you back from that. If you’re good enough you should be able to fulfil your dreams.

“I owe a lot to this University, what I learn here and what I experienced here shaped me as a person.

“The University of Glasgow inspired me to be all that I could be and gave me the confidence to do that and I will be forever grateful for it.”

First Minister on her time at the University of Glasgow

Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “I am delighted to welcome the First Minister back to the University of Glasgow. We are very proud of the fact that the First Minister is an alumna of this University, and that she truly embodies the values that Successful Women at Glasgow are inspiring in our student body today.

“Since Marion Gilchrist received her degree in 1894, and in doing so became our first female graduate and Scotland’s first female medic, women graduates from the University of Glasgow have gone on to change the world in countless ways.

“Today I am tremendously proud of our work to promote and embed all aspects of equality and diversity within the University community. Not only are women well represented among our staff, including at the very highest levels, but we also invest significantly in providing support for female academics at all stages of their career.”

‌Nikita Montlake, President of Successful Women at Glasgow, said: “Successful Women at Glasgow are honoured to have the First Minister address the student body. Our society believes that it is important to celebrate and call attention to successful women who have prevailed in their professional sphere where gender equality is still in its relative infancy.

“Throughout the past few years the University of Glasgow have been very proactive in their development of gender equality through implementing programs such as the Athena Swan Charter and offering a platform for societies such as SWAG which promote women and encourage all students to pursue their dreams.”

Professor Anne Anderson, the University of Glasgow’s Gender Equality Champion, said: “The University of Glasgow is committed to gender equality and aims to eradicate discrimination in its work, learning, teaching and research environment. We are working hard to ensure that we address inequalities at both personal and policy levels to build a community based on equal opportunities.

“I would like to congratulate Nikita and the members of Successful Women at Glasgow for their hard work in organising such a successful series of events.”

View some of the highlights of the event.



First published: 4 February 2015