2019 Outstanding Women of Scotland inductees announced.

Campaigners tackling period poverty, equality and the continuation of Scottish folklore and folksong are among the 2019 Outstanding Women of Scotland Inductees.



Ten women from the fields of the arts, culture, politics, activism and science have been honoured and inducted into the esteemed Saltire Society ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ community at a special event as part of the Women of the World, Perth.

This year’s ten inductees include Professor Jill Belch, Professor of Vascular Medicine  Ninewells Hospital and Medical School Dundee,  Margaret Bennett, Professor, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow and Jackie Brierton MBE, CEO of GrowBiz who provide support to anyone starting, running or growing a business in rural Perth and Kinross. Also featured in this year’s list of inductees are Editor of literary magazine Chapman, Joy Hendry, Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls, which  tackles period poverty ecologically, Chief Executive of Young Scot Louise MacDonald and  Zakia Moulaoui, founder of Invisible cities who train people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. Completing the list of 2019 inductees are Emma Ritch, Executive Director of Engender, campaigner for gender equality and Creative Director of The British Film Institute and in charge of the BFI National Archive, one of the biggest and most significant collections of film and television and the moving image in the world, which works with archives across the UK.



Jill Belch, FRCP, MD, OBE, FR(E), FAMedSci

Professor of Vascular Medicine  Ninewells Hospital and Medical School Dundee

‘This is a fabulous honour and I’m very grateful to the Saltire Society. I would like to acknowledge all the outstanding women who helped me in my career.’


Margaret Bennett

Professor, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow



Jackie Brierton MBE

CEO of GrowBiz

‘It is a great honour to be inducted into the Outstanding Women of Scotland. It is an important opportunity to help young women in Scotland to see the diverse and creative areas that women are working in.’


Fiona Dalgetty

Ceannard / Chief Executive, Fèis Rois

‘It’s a great honour to be on a list with other leading women. And I feel privileged to work with outstanding women in my everyday with traditional music.’


Joy Hendry

Editor of Chapman

‘I am honoured to be here and hope to spend the rest of my life living up to the honour’


Celia Hodson

Founder of Hey Girls

‘This is a huge honour, an absolute joy and delight to be among these alumni of incredible women and such a diverse group.’



Louise Macdonald OBE

Chief Executive Young Scot

‘I am in awe of the other inductees and the word honoured doesn’t do it justice. Saltire Society does such amazing work for the cultural life of Scotland and I am hugely grateful to be counted amongst the Outstanding Women of Scotland.’


Zakia Moulaoui

Founder & CEO at Invisible Cities

‘It is a bit surreal to be acknowledged amongst these successful women. This is a huge honour’


Emma Ritch

Executive Director of Engender


Heather Stewart

Creative Director, British Film Institute

‘I can’t say how proud I am to be in the company of the great of Scotland.’


Since it began in 2015, the ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’ induction has recognised and celebrated Scottish women from all walks of life and the inspiration their achievements set for the next generation. Each year, the campaign invites members of the public to nominate living contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made a significant contribution to Scottish culture and society for induction into the Outstanding Women of Scotland community. Past inductees have included singer-songwriter and activist Annie Lennox, bestselling author J.K. Rowling and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 2020 is planned to be the year that Saltire bring together its 40 inductees in a mentoring strategy to support and further inspire Scotland’s young people.

Taking place as part of the Women of the World Perth celebration, the special ceremony saw each inductee with a limited edition print from artist and illustrator Natasha Russell https://www.natasharussell.com/

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

We are excited to be building the Outstanding Women of Scotland community again in 2019 and having the opportunity to celebrate these amazing women and the work they do to make Scotland and further afield a better place to live, work and play.  Without these women, Scotland would be a darker place and we are privileged to be able to take this moment to celebrate and thank them.

As well as recognising these women for their contribution, the Outstanding Women of Scotland Community is creating a tangible list of women who can, will and do inspire generations to come.



All photos Copyright Graham Clark.