Women of Watson's Lunchtime Forum

Women of Watson's Lunchtime Forum

Published on 2 November 2021

On 1 November, we were delighted to welcome a panel of high-profile speakers to our Women of Watson’s Lunchtime Forum event. 

Our pupils and staff had the opportunity to hear from a panel of women who have achieved at the highest levels in their careers. The panel consisted of: 

  • Ruth Davidson, former leader of the Scottish Conservatives and the first openly LGBT leader of a major UK political party. 
  • Dr Carol Marsh OBE, Deputy Head of Electronics at Leonardo, working in the field for over 35 years
  • Tracy Black, former pupil, CBI Scotland Director, and thought leader within the Scottish business community
  • Debora Kayembe, human rights lawyer and the first person of colour, and third woman, to be elected as Rector of the University of Edinburgh.

We were also pleased to extend this invitation to pupils and staff from schools around Edinburgh including Firrhill, The Royal High School and Wellington School in Ayr.

Each of the speakers shared their experiences of the workplace, and offered insight into how far women have come in the world of work, discussing how true parity can be achieved for all genders, in whichever sector they choose to work in.

The panel covered pertinent issues around gender equality in the workplace including legislation, changing attitudes, mentorship programmes for women, the gender pay gap and the effects of taking a career break to have children. 

During the discussion, Ruth Davidson gave some advice to young women at school preparing to embark on college, university and entering the workforce. 

She said: “Once you get into a workplace you have to learn your trade, you have to listen to people, you have to make sure you are putting in work, there's no substitute for hard work. 

“Be honest with yourself about what you are good at and don't be afraid to talk yourself up, in Scotland we aren’t very good at that and as women we aren't very good at that. 

“Ask yourself what do you like doing? What do you want to do and what makes you happy?”

This event was hosted through GWC Plus and is available on-demand here.