Business Leaders Join Women Mentoring Scheme


ScottishPower’s CEO Keith Anderson and CBI Scotland will work with some of Scotland’s most senior business leaders to deliver a new mentoring programme, which aims to help increase the number of women in senior executive roles.

A total of 18 leaders have already signed-up to be part of the programme. They will each mentor three women for 12 months, coming from the partner organisations as well as wider companies across Scotland. The leaders will offer career advice and share their insights and experiences, as well as providing professional and personal guidance.

The group of mentors met for the first time at ScottishPower’s Glasgow HQ today (Friday 23rd March), where they agreed to regular contact and feedback to ensure that the programme maximises the experience for the women being mentored.

CBI Scotland will oversee the programme, and Tracy Black will also act as a mentor. They aim to engage with as many companies across Scotland as possible and help to pair each leader with their three mentees.

Scottish Mentors

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower CEO said: "A common factor raised in a lot of organisations when reporting on their gender pay gap is the under-representation of women in senior roles. This was the case for ScottishPower, and we are already reviewing how we identify talent and enhance career opportunities internally. The issue is greater than one company or one industry though, and we want to work with leaders in all organisations across Scotland so that collectively we can identify weaknesses and improve practices. It has been very encouraging to see so many organisations and individuals agreeing to be part of this mentoring scheme, and I am sure everyone involved will benefit from the experience."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I commend ScottishPower and CBI Scotland for launching this initiative and committing to narrowing the gender pay gap in sectors traditionally difficult for women to both enter and progress in.

"I am delighted to see that so many people in leadership roles across industry are pledging their time to help women achieve their potential. As the first year of the ‘First Mentor’ initiative has taught me, mentoring is a quite unique, rewarding experience: by sharing our experiences we are not just supporting a new generation of women leaders, but we are also learning from them in return.

"Equality for women is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s vision for an equal Scotland. As set out in our 2017 Programme for Government, we are taking concrete steps in ensuring gender balance is maintained on public sector boards and in helping women back into the workplace after a career break."

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland Director, said: “Many businesses are already doing more to build inclusive working environments that enable people to be their best.  But we’re not there yet.  While women are joining boards in greater numbers than ever, it’s often as non-executive directors. These are important roles but they are not the day-to-day leaders of UK firms. We need more women in the senior ranks of our companies. Mentoring is an extremely powerful tool in our arsenal - it gives aspiring women the chance to learn leadership skills from the best minds in business and helps them access the kind of networks that can too often feel closed off to them. That’s why we’re delighted to support this initiative."

The full list of mentors /organisations who will take part in the scheme is as follows:

Mentor Company / Organisation

Cllr Susan Aitken

Leader, Glasgow City Council

Keith Anderson

CEO, ScottishPower

Tracy Black

Director, CBI Scotland

Malcolm Buchanan

Chair of Scotland Board and Managing Director of Corporate and Commercial Banking, RBS

Catherine Burnet


Phil Charles

Senior Partner, KPMG

Debbie Crosbie

Clydesdale Bank

Caroline Donaldson


Jacqui Ferguson

Wood plc / Tesco Bank / Docusign

Martin Gilbert

Aberdeen Standard

Pamela Gillies

Glasgow Caledonian University

Mark Harvey


Graham Hutcheon

Edrington Group

Prof Sir Jim McDonald

University of Strathclyde

Marie Macklin

HALO Urban Regeneration

Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli

Principal, Glasgow University

Lindsey Paterson


Claire Reid


Jenny Stewart

Head of Infrastructure and Government team, KPMG

Keith Skeoch

Aberdeen Standard

Damien Yeates

Skills Development Scotland