Young Scot, an organisation supported by the Scottish Government, announced it will hold a competition giving a young woman the chance to be mentored by Nicola Sturgeon.
The competition will be open to aspiring young women in Scotland aged between 18 and 23.
The successful candidate will receive mentoring from the First Minister for a year in the hope that it will encourage a long-term increase in women’s participation in leadership roles in the boardroom and beyond.
Sturgeon is encouraging other female leaders to follow her example and mentor young women to help develop future leaders and improve the gender balance.
Speaking at a diversity in private sector boards joint partnership event with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government in Edinburgh, the First Minister said: “Equality for women is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s vision for an equal Scotland.
“My ambition for all our young people is that they will have a fair chance to succeed, and if they work hard and have the ability, there’s nothing to stop them realising their dreams.
“That is why our Programme for Government contains ambitious commitments in support of women’s equality, including legislating for gender balance on public sector boards, creating a new Advisory Council on Women and Girls and piloting a returners project.
“Through initiatives such as 50/50 by 2020 and the Scottish Business Pledge, more than 300 businesses in Scotland have committed to achieve gender equality on their boards, and for the first time ever more than half of public sector board appointees are women,” she continued.
In 2014, Sturgeon appointed Scotland’s first gender-balanced cabinet, with an equal number of men and women.
The 50/50 by 2020 scheme was introduced to demonstrate a commitment from businesses to improve the gender balance in their workplaces.
It is part of the ‘Partnership for Change’, a network of organisations and individuals with the ambition of improving diversity on boards and in senior leadership.
Image: Scottish Parliament Press office