She is Convener (Chair) of the Board of Connect, an independent, national organisation which influences parental engagement policy development and training. She is a vice-Chair of her local parent council and a non-executive director of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
Lindsay uses all of these experiences to help champion youth and women and help champion potential both within and outside the organisation.
She has been shortlisted for the WIBF Award for Achievement.
How does it feel to be shortlisted for this award?
I feel very honoured to be short-listed alongside so many people who do such great work. It spurs me on to do more and increase my impact rather than rest on laurels!
You founded an annual event to celebrate International Women’s Day, can you tell us more about that?
I noticed that most STEMK events were for older teenagers, but I knew from my work in gender, imposter syndrome, and education that young girls make decisions about course choices at secondary school almost as soon as they arrive. So, I wanted to make an event for younger girls so they started secondary school with lots of awareness of the diversity of career choices that STEM subjects can open from 3-d printing organs to help sick people, to making fashion more sustainable, or working in a bank. It’s been a great success reaching hundreds of young people in Edinburgh and now in its 6th year. I am really glad with partnered with SmartSTEMS because they have such a great network of employers and universities, but also because they also believe in equality of opportunity for everyone and I love to work with such a positive team.
How can schools get girls interested in STEM subjects and careers?
First I would say that schools need to think about the unconscious bias in the system, both in teachers themselves and at a curricular level. While my daughter was doing a project on the Victorians every famous person was male a longlist of inventors, engineers, builder, composers and authors. The only female person was Queen Victoria, even though there are so many female pioneers with really inspiring stories to choose from: Florence Nightingale, Ada Lovelace, Sara Josephine Baker to name a few. What message does this send to young people, both male and female? There have been so many amazing female inventors, engineers, authors etc throughout history, and I would encourage schools to explore the resources available to balance the curriculum. This also applies under-represented BAME groups who also need to see themselves represented in the curriculum. Young people are influenced sub-consciously by these stereotypes, and being aware of how schools perpetuate them is the first step to opening young people’s eyes to the opportunities available to them.
You have joined a new domestic abuse working group, providing guidance on policy and process design to support colleagues, customers and line managers, what can you share with us about this work?
This work supports people both inside the bank and in the community. We have partnered with Safe Lives to really change the way people who experience domestic abuse, including financial abuse, are treated by the bank. At the start of lock-down one of the most powerful things the group did was draw the bank’s attention to the fact that our colleagues who may be experiencing abuse might have been made more unsafe by being asked to work from home. We were able to ensure the bank reacted quickly with advice for colleagues and line managers. It’s so important to me to work for an organisation that is willing to listen to people with lived experienced and expertise and react quickly to make positive change that makes people’s lives better.
What motivates you professionally?
I like to feel I am making the world a better place, that I am doing the right thing and helping people be they customers of the bank or people who work for me. I identify with the concept of a servant-leader very strongly. I want to do my best to help people live their best and happiest life, whilst also delivering on what we need to. In Audit I have found a group of like-minded people who are highly-motivated to do the right things, with high ethical standards combined with empathy for their colleagues. It’s a very rewarding team to work in. I also love to use what I learn at the bank about corporate governance, programme management and leadership to support the charities I am on the Board of. Most weekends find me in board meeting, or catching up on reading for Scottish Women’s Aid, Connect (supporting parental engagement in education) or the National Youth Choir of Scotland. People ask how I fit it all in – I read quickly and I also make sure to put aside time for the family and me to relax together! But I also involve my children in the work I do, talking to them about why it’s important to contribute and why that means sometimes I will be out at the weekends or in the evening. I have always talked to them about it since they were little. As a result I have two teenagers who are very active in their local network protesting against climate change!
Finally, do you have a favourite book or film you like to watch when you need to relax?
I love Little Women, in fact the whole series of books about Jo March. I have always found her very inspirational and I think the message of independence, making a difference, and refusing to be defined by your gender is still relevant today. I started learning Norwegian last year, and I have just started to read the abridged version in Norwegian. It’s still brilliant!