At the IoD, we pride ourselves on championing the innovators and wealth creators who keep our economy moving. There is no better example than Viscountess Rhondda, the first female President of the IoD, who was elected by members in 1926. As well as being a campaigner for women’s rights, Rhondda had a successful career in business, holding over 30 directorships. In her honour, last year the IoD established an annual lecture to give a platform a speaker who has broken new ground in their field.
This year, Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative party, delivered the lecture, talking about her experience as a “football-playing, uniform-wearing, reservist soldier…Sunday school teacher, journalist, charity worker, broadcaster, Presbyterian, Tory, lesbian, kickboxer leader”. Since becoming Conservative leader north of the border in 2011, she has shaken up the party’s image in Scotland, this year displacing Labour in second place in opinion polls.
Davidson spoke of her desire to for the UK to unify after the Brexit vote, and urged all politicians to adopt a “mature” and respectful approach to our soon-to-be-former partners in the EU. Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s Political Editor, oversaw proceedings, questioning Davidson on the current situation of women in politics. The event was a great success, covered widely in the media. Look out for the announcement of next year’s speaker soon!