2016 Outstanding Women of Scotland Inductees announced!

Ten Scottish women from the fields of the arts, culture, politics, activism, law and science have been honoured and inducted into the esteemed Saltire Society ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community at a special event in Glasgow today.

             
             

Singer-songwriter, political activist and philanthropist, Annie Lennox, OBE said she was “deeply touched to be considered deserving of such prestigious company” as she was inducted into the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community.

This year’s ten inductees also included bestselling writer JK Rowling, global health and education campaigner Sarah Brown and female pioneers from the arts and heritage Alice Strang and Magdalena Sargarzazu alongside scientist Professor Karen Vousden, journalist Lesley Riddoch, politician Dr Philippa Whitford and retired Supreme Court judge Lady Cosgrove.

Read more about each of our inductees HERE

Following a tremendously successful inaugural ceremony in 2015, with inductees including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s recently appointed new Makar Jackie Kay, members of the public were invited to submit nominations for a second year. Once again, the key criterion for consideration was that those nominated should be living contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made a significant contribution to Scottish culture and society.

Created in partnership with Glasgow Women’s Library, the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community aims to recognise and celebrate remarkable Scottish women from all walks of life who have made an outstanding contribution to Scottish society.

Taking place at Glasgow Women’s Library, the special ceremony saw a female member of the Society of Young Publishers Scotland present each inductee with a limited edition print from Edinburgh-based visual artist and illustrator, Anupa Gardner.

Full details of this year’s ten inductees are as follows:

  • Singer-songwriter, political activist and philanthropist Annie Lennox OBE
  • Acclaimed novelist, screenwriter and film producer, J.K. Rowling OBE, FRSL
  • Curator of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Alice Strang
  • Scientist, and former Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, Joan Kathleen Stringer, DBE, FRSE, FRSA
  • Former full time Canna Archivist for the National Trust for Scotland, Magdalena Sargarzazu
  • Surgeon, Member of Parliament and SNP Health Spokesperson, Dr Philippa Whitford
  • Campaigner for global health and education, and founder and president of children’s charity, Theirworld, Sarah Jane Brown
  • Broadcaster, journalist and campaigner, Lesley Anne Riddoch
  • Medical researcher and director of the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute (Glasgow), Professor Karen Heather Vousden, CBE, FRS, FRSE, FMedSci
  • The first women to be appointed a Senator of the College of Justice, Lady Hazel Josephine Cosgrove, CBE

Amal Azzudin is an award winning campaigner for human rights and social justice and was presented with a special award to mark the Saltire Society’s 80th anniversary year.

Commenting on her induction, Sarah Jane Brown said:

“I thank the Saltire Society for the honour of including me amongst a list of wonderful women in Scotland from all walks of life and such breadth of achievement. If you can see it, you can be it.

“So congratulations to the Saltire Society for highlighting the success of many women who can all set an example for other women to come along and exceed. May your list get longer and longer of brilliant women doing amazing things across Scotland and in the wider world.”

As part of the celebrations, the Society has produced a pamphlet similar to those featured in its popular Saltire Series containing biographies and a personal note from each of the inductees outlining who and what has inspired them in their lives and careers. The pamphlet is available online at saltiresociety.org.uk.

Speaking about her induction, Dr Philippa Whitford MP said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be named as one of this year’s Outstanding Women of Scotland and would like to thank those who nominated me. It was a huge surprise when I found out I had been chosen to receive the accolade and I am very honoured to be inducted into the Community with such an esteemed group of women.

“After a long career as a Breast Cancer Surgeon and a comparatively short one as a Politician, I have had the privilege of working to make a difference to peoples’ lives for over 30 years. As it stands, both surgery and politics are still very male dominated worlds but recognition of the achievements of women in these fields helps encourage girls and young women to ignore stereotypes and to follow their aspirations no matter which career path they wish to pursue.”

Commenting on the ceremony, Glasgow Women’s Library Enterprise Development Manager, Sue John, said:

“Glasgow Women’s Library is proud to work with the Saltire Society to honour these Outstanding Women of Scotland. Some are household names, while others are less well known in our day-to-day lives. What they all have in common is the extraordinary contributions they make not only to Scotland but to the wider world. They are role models for us all and I look forward to celebrating their achievements with them on this special occasion.”

Speaking on behalf of the Saltire Society, Programme Manager Sarah Mason said:

“Once again this year, it is a great privilege to honour these truly inspiring women. The Saltire Society exists to promote and celebrate Scottish culture and heritage. Over the years, the contribution of Scotland’s women to the cultural life of this country has been truly remarkable but sadly too often underestimated or overlooked. In growing the Outstanding Women of Scotland community year by year, I hope we can begin to address that shortcoming.”

International Women's Day 2016

19th Century Skye poet tops Outstanding Women Twitter poll

Màiri Mhòr nan Oran (Mary MacPherson)

A 19th Century nurse, poet and songwriter from Skeabost on the Isle of Skye has topped a social media poll of Outstanding Women of Scotland through the ages.

Màiri Mhòr nan Oran (Mary MacPherson) was announced the overall winner of the online poll to coincide with International Women’s Day on Tuesday, 8th March.

Since launching the 2016 Outstanding Women of Scotland campaign on St. Andrew’s Day, cultural charity the Saltire Society has been celebrating women from throughout Scottish history via a series of daily Tweets. Fellow Twitter users were asked to vote for their favourites from a list of more than 80 outstanding women from Scottish history.

A wide range of Historic Scottish women have been celebrated as part of the campaign, from Mary King, who famously has an Edinburgh close and visitor attraction named after her to Dorothy Donaldson Buchanan, the first female member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Màiri Mhòr nan Oran was born on the Isle of Skye in 1821 and, after being briefly arrested and imprisoned for theft in 1872, turned to poetry to protest her innocence and express her anger through Gaelic verse. Following her release from prison, she lived in Glasgow where she worked as a nurse and became well known for her poetry and songs. She was a supporter of land reform and, amongst other things, used her verse to urge Skye crofters to resist their landlords, including through perhaps her best known poem “Incitement of the Gaels”. Màiri died following a short illness in 1898. A plaque to her memory was unveiled in 1966 at Skeabost in Skye and there is a more recent plaque outside her last home in Portree, erected by the Portree Local History Society.

Nominations for the Saltire Society’s ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ 2016 campaign are due to close on Friday, 11th March.

You can nominate HERE.

 

We are delighted to be working with the Glasgow Women's Library again to celebrate the outstanding women of Scotland who contribute so much to Scotland today, not always with the recognition they deserve.

Ten outstanding women were inducted into our inaugural ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ on International Women’s Day in March 2015.

       
         

Alongside the First Minister, other inductees included Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead and novelist Jackie Kay. Responding to her nomination, the First Minister said she hoped ‘the achievements of all those featured will inspire many more Scottish women to fulfil their dreams’.

From Monday 30th November the public is being invited to submit their nominations for next year’s list. Nominees must be living, contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made a significant contribution to Scottish culture and society. Nominations can be made via Twitter using the hashtag #saltirewomen or by completing the online form HERE

Leading nominees from the social media campaign will be revealed on International Women’s day (8th March 2016) itself, giving the public three months to submit their nominations. Women from all backgrounds can be nominated, provided that they have contributed something ‘truly special’ to Scottish culture and society.

   
     

Based on official nominations made via the Saltire Society website, ten women will be inducted into the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community in the July of 2016.

Commenting on the launch, Saltire Society Programme Manager Sarah Mason said:

“The Saltire Society is here to protect and promote Scotland’s essential culture and heritage. By championing the women of Scotland – the unsung heroines of this country alongside those who have risen to prominence in public life – the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ campaign seeks to celebrate everything Scotland’s women have achieved – and the huge contribution they make to the cultural life of this country.”

Adele Patrick, a co-founder of Glasgow Women’s Library commented:

“Scotland has an inordinate number of remarkable women who have shaped its past and some phenomenal women who are changing the face of the nation today. We are thrilled to be working with our partners the Saltire Society to bring the contemporary heroines whether they are architects or engineers, playwrights or poets into the spotlight. These unique Awards involves young women in the process fuelling their own aspirations as we ensure Scotland’s story includes the cultural contribution of women.”

 

2015 Outstanding Women of Scotland

The ceremony took place on the afternoon of International Women’s Day 2015, Sunday 8th March, at the Glasgow Women’s Library.

We are delighted to announce our  inaugural ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ inductees. 

Announced at a event at Glasgow Women's Library on 8th March 2015 (International Women's Day) celebrating the achievements of Scottish women from all walks of life based on nominations from the general public.:

 

·         Edinburgh Napier Professor of Creative Writing Bashabi Fraser

·         Former MP, MEP and MSP Winifred Ewing

·         Poet and Novelist Jackie Kay MBE

·         Songwriter Karine Polwart

·         Former President, Industrial Tribunals (Scotland), Dr. Doris Littlejohn CBE

·         Poet, dramatist and Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead

·         Singer and writer Dr Anne Lorne Gillies

·         Former Advocate General of Scotland Elish Angiolini DBE

·         Strathclyde University Engineering Professor Rebecca Lunn

·        Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon

Each of the inductees was presented with a limited edition print from up and coming printmaker Jessica Copsey and has been invited to become part of the ongoing Saltire Celebrates programme.

Download our Outstanding Women of Scotland 2015 pamphlet to find out who inspired our inductees HERE.

 

 

Outstanding Women of Scotland

We are delighted to announce our inaugural ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ list launched by the Saltire Society to coincide with International Women’s Day (Sunday, 8th March 2015).

Members of the public were invited to submit nominations for inclusion in the list during 2014 leading up to St Andrews Day on 30th November.  The key criterion for consideration was that those nominated should be living contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made a significant contribution to Scottish culture and society.

The ceremony took place on the afternoon of International Women’s Day 2015, Sunday 8th March, at the Glasgow Women’s Library.

We are delighted to announce our  inaugural ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ inductees. 

Announced at a event at Glasgow Women's Library on 8th March 2015 (International Women's Day) celebrating the achievements of Scottish women from all walks of life based on nominations from the general public.:

 

·         Edinburgh Napier Professor of Creative Writing Bashabi Fraser

·         Former MP, MEP and MSP Winifred Ewing

·         Poet and Novelist Jackie Kay MBE

·         Songwriter Karine Polwart

·         Former President, Industrial Tribunals (Scotland), Dr. Doris Littlejohn CBE

·         Poet, dramatist and Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead

·         Singer and writer Dr Anne Lorne Gillies

·         Former Advocate General of Scotland Elish Angiolini DBE

·         Strathclyde University Engineering Professor Rebecca Lunn

·        Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon

 

Each of the inductees was presented with a limited edition print from up and coming printmaker Jessica Copsey and has been invited to become part of the ongoing Saltire Celebrates programme.

Download our Outstanding Women of Scotland pamphlet to find out who inspired our inductees HERE.

 



  

The Saltire Society has launched a social media campaign to see the women of Scotland who have made a significant contribution to Scottish Life, Society and Culture celebrated.

The 24th February saw the start of a yearlong campaign where the Society will celebrate, through social media, one woman each day. Profiling how women have contributed significantly to Scotland’s rich life and culture.

Members of the public are being called on to nominate candidates to be included in a list of ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’. This major social media campaign is intends to celebrate the multitude of Scottish women who have made an outstanding contribution to the life, society and culture of Scotland.

MAKE YOUR NOMINATION HERE.

(Download the entry form before completing)

The list will remain open to formal nominations until St. Andrews Day.  The only qualifying criterion for nominations is to demonstrate that the nominee has made an outstanding contribution to Scottish life, culture or society.