Outstanding Women of Scotland inductees announced

Annie Lennox. Photo: Cate Cillon
Annie Lennox. Photo: Cate Cillon
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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.

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.

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.

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 scientists Joan Stringer and Professor Karen Vousden, journalist Lesley Riddoch, politician Dr Philippa Whitford and retired Supreme Court judge Lady Cosgrove.

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.

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.”

Sarah mason, Saltire Society programme manager, 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.”

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 Spokesman, 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