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Baroness Patricia Scotland scoops prize

HONOUR: Baroness Patricia Scotland, left, receives her award from Allison Schwartz, global leader for government relations

BARONESS PATRICIA Scotland has received a Distinguished Champion award at the WEConnect Gala in Washington, D.C. for her efforts to empower women and achieve gender equality across the world.

Organisers spoke of the Secretary-General’s “commitment to transforming the lives of women”, adding that: “It is not just her personal achievements that have inspired females, but her forceful pursuit of progressive change in each of her various posts.”

In her acceptance speech during the event, which took place earlier this month, the Secretary-General said: “I am particularly pleased the WE- Connect award ceremony had such distinguished representation from major corporations – especially female business leaders of such a high calibre and talent.

“Business and the public sector working together locally and internationally can do so much to protect the safety of women and to enhance opportunities for potential to be recognised and fulfilled.

“The occasion for me is made all the more significant by the fact the gala is taking place three years to the day since I took up the responsibilities entrusted to me by the Heads of Government of Commonwealth of our 53 member nations and became their Secretary-General.”

WEConnect International is a global network that connects women-owned businesses to quali ed buyers across the globe.

BARRIERS

The event was attended by more than 200 guests, including government officials, thought leaders, and philanthropic and civil society organisations, who are champions for women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.

Baroness Scotland has received a number of plaudits for breaking down barriers and achieving goals in areas thought to be closed to women. Her current role as Secretary- General of the Commonwealth is the latest ‘first’ in a career which has seen her become the first black woman to become Queen’s Counsel (QC), the first black woman ever to become a minister in the UK Government and the first woman to take up the position as Attorney General for England. At 35, she was also the youngest woman ever to be made a QC, and now, aged 63, is busy serving 53 countries as the first female Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

However, it is not just her personal achievements that have inspired women around the world, but her forceful pursuit of progressive change in each of her various posts.

Secretary-General Scotland has worked to make gender mainstreaming a core element of the Commonwealth’s programme work, while urging bold action to close the persistent economic gender gap between men and women around the world.

At a 2018 World Investment Forum entitled, Women’s Economic Empowerment – Transforming Investments and Enterprise, the Secretary- General said: “Working for the economic empowerment of women is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. It contributes to human development and inclusive growth as well as to prosperous business.”

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