Women into Leadership comes to Scotland

Organised by the FDA and Dods, Women into Leadership conferences provides delegates with the chance to network with other female leaders, attend breakout workshops and hear from successful women both in and outside of the civil service.

A total of 250 delegates attended the first Women into Leadership Scotland event, which took place on 25 May in Edinburgh. After six successful annual events in London, this is the first time the conference has been held outside of the English capital.

A packed conference hall at Women into Leadership Scotland Scottish Government Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans

A packed conference hall as the first Women into Leadership Scotland begins; Scottish Government Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans (photos by Simon Williams Photography)

The event was chaired by FDA Vice President Fiona Eadie, with speakers including the first female Scottish Government Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans; Civil Service Gender Champion and DCLG Permanent Secretary Melanie Dawes; Young Scot CEO Louise Macdonald; and Ruth Shaw, FCO Head of Campaigns and Development.

Evans shared a favourite quote: "What you permit, you promote", adding that "words influence, while actions dictate".

She also confirmed a "need to work to improve women's confidence, and to push women to go beyond what feels comfortable… compromises, bumps and triumphs are all part of the journey".

Ruth Shaw Fiona Eadie and Leslie EvansCivil Service Gender Champion Melanie Dawes

FCO's Ruth Shaw and FDA Vice President Fiona Eadie listen as Leslie Evans takes questions from delegates; Civil Service Gender Champion and DCLG Permanent Secretary Melanie Dawes (photos by Simon Williams Photography)

Dawes admitted that "a preoccupation with grades in the civil service can hold us back, particularly regarding equality". While saying she's not in favour of quotas, Dawes did state that she is "leaning towards whether male-only shortlists should be allowed".

The event was live-tweeted from the union's account @FDA_Union and #WiLScotland was trending across Scotland during the event.

A more detailed conference report will be available in the summer issue of Public Service Magazine.

The next Women into Leadership event will be held in London on 21 September. To find out more, visit www.womenintoleadership.co.uk