A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to attend my first Business Women Scotland Awards in Glasgow as a guest of one of the sponsors - the Clydesdale Bank. One of the consistent themes of the the evening was the importance of collaboration and mentoring. The event was held in collaboration with Women's Enterprise Scotland so it was brilliant to see such a great collaboration.
The evening was also about recognising and rewarding women across Scotland who have made a difference. For instance Jackie Brierton was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, whilst business and social entrepreneur, Marie Macklin collected the award for Business Woman of the Year and Evelyn Toma, Managing Director of Re-Tek, collected the Business of the Year Award.
I met Marie a few years ago when she attended the first major VVA event and every so often we run into each other so it was lovely to see here being recognised for showing leadership and vision within her business role as well as her work as a social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Macklin Enterprise Partnerships, an investment fund investing in start-up and scale-up businesses, as well as being a board member for the Women’s Business Mentoring Partnership, which I have recently joined and now mentor a young up and coming Glasgow based Fashion Designer through the programme.
The awards were attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who took the opportunity to announce new measures to support women in enterprise. Many of the attendees also took the opportunity to have their picture taken with Nicola:
Whilst I did not have the opportunity of speaking directly with all the winners, I did manage to track down some comments they made on the evening:
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said; ““These awards are a fantastic way of recognising and celebrating the great work being done by business women in Scotland. I want to congratulate every woman who has received an award.
“These inspiring women are showing what can be done, but we are under no illusion that it is still much more difficult for women than men to achieve their full potential in business. The gender gap, although narrowing, is still an unfortunate reality. That is why I am pleased to announce Scottish Government funding for projects to support, encourage and develop female entrepreneurs.
Jackie Brierton MBE said; “It’s an absolute privilege to have received this award, especially whilst surrounded by the depth and breadth of talent of Scotland’s female business leaders. I hope these Awards will continue to fuel support for women in enterprise, as it is so vital to Scotland’s economy that we utilise the talents of the entire population.”
Marie Macklin CBE said; “It is fantastic to be recognised as Business Woman of the Year by an organisation that I truly value and support. I am passionate about supporting entrepreneurs but even more so about encouraging women to take on leading roles within business as that will truly help to grow Scotland’s economy. I hope that my achievements encourage other female entrepreneurs to be ambitious and dream big.”
Evelyn Toma, Managing Director of Re-Tek said, “While I am delighted to take the credit here – this award is a tribute to the whole team at Re-Tek. I hope this inspires other women to believe they can be the orchestra conductor and not just the lead violin!!!
A brilliant evening for women in business and something that I would recommend you attend.