Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Gender Summit aims to create a better balance across sport, business and entertainment

Today, Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) hosts its fourth annual Gender Summit at the Hub in central Edinburgh, ahead of the Aberdeen Standard Ladies Scottish Open that tees off at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian this Thursday.

Titled ‘A Better Balance’ the summit features a number of high profile speakers including:

  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon;
  • Ruth Davidson, leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland;
  • Judy Murray, former captain of the British Fed Cup team as well as coach to multiple champion tennis players, including her sons Andy and Jamie;
  • Tracey Neville, England Women’s Netball Coach; and
  • Mike Whan, Chief Commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

The afternoon will be hosted by BBC journalist and broadcaster, Sarah Smith, and supported by The Times Scotland.

Sarah Smith will be joined by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Judy Murray to discuss ‘inspiring the next generation’ and how a pipeline of young talent can be supported throughout their careers by employers, government and society.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Achieving gender equality is a priority for the Scottish Government and we are taking action at different levels across our economy and society.

“Last year, we legislated to ensure there is gender balance on public sector boards and through the 50/50 by 2020 campaign, we’re encouraging businesses to do the same on their boards. And we are tackling the practical barriers that prevent women from participating in our economy – for example, by almost doubling free childcare entitlement. 

“The importance of doing that has been particularly in focus this year as we celebrate the centenary of the first women winning the right to vote. In the century since then, we’ve made progress in achieving greater gender equality, but it’s clear that, as a society, we have far more to do. I welcome this opportunity to discuss what more we can all do to play our part in building a truly equal society.”

Judy Murray, added: “It’s a privilege to be invited to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Gender Summit in Edinburgh. My hope is that today’s young people can look forward to a future where gender balance is no longer an issue – to get there we need coaches, mentors and leaders to make that change happen. That’s what we’re here to do today”.

Over 180 people from the world of sport, business and entertainment will gather at the Hub to explore the opportunities to drive positive change within each sector, drawing on their own experiences, in what promises to be a lively and engaging discussion.

Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, Ruth Davidson MSP, will be interviewed by a young cadet, a journalist and a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. Titled ‘Interviewed by her past’, and in keeping with Scotland’s Year of Young People, it will look back at Ruth’s past through the eyes of young people who have followed in her footsteps. It will explore how her experiences have set her up to thrive in her career and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

Ruth Davidson said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in my second Aberdeen Standard Investments Gender Summit and discussing how we can all create a better balance. Change is happening but we need to accelerate the pace. It will require strong leadership but also the ability to learn and collaborate with one another.”

The Summit will also look at ‘what we can learn from business and sport’, with Lynne Connolly, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Other speakers on the panel included Mike Whan, Tracey Neville and Richard Bogie, Managing Director of News Scotland.

Keith Skeoch, Chief Executive at Aberdeen Standard Investments will open the event.  Reflecting on the aims of the Summit, Keith commented:

“At Aberdeen Standard Investments, we recognise both the importance of gender diversity and that more progress needs to be made both in our industry and across society. We’ve put a plan in place but we know there is still more we can do. That’s why it’s important to be here today to learn from leaders across different sectors, and discuss how we can push forward together.”

The Summit has previously taken place at the tournament venue; however, due to the increasing popularity of the event, this year’s event takes place in central Edinburgh to allow a wider range of delegates to attend.

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open takes place from 26-29 July at Gullane Golf Club. Entry is free and for more information visit www.ladiesscottishopen.com

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