The UK Government wants more women to get ahead as the economy grows. By bringing our parental leave system into the 21st Century by enabling mothers and fathers able to share their leave and pay, extending the right to request flexible working to all employees, and making real progress in our fight for equal pay, we are delivering fairness for women across the UK.
Recently I had the opportunity to discuss these issues with women from across Scotland’s business community at an inspiring roundtable event at Glasgow Caledonian University. The session marked the first in a series of events around Scotland that will inform a wider “Review on women in the Scottish Economy”, due to report to the Secretary of State for Scotland’s Business Board in the Spring of 2015. For me, this was very much an occasion to hear the views, aspirations and concerns of leading Scottish businesswomen. There was a lot of passion and enthusiasm in the room, and it was clear that women have a vital part to play in shaping Scotland’s economic success.
It was a lively, wide ranging discussion that touched on business support, workplace culture and career progression for women in Scotland. And of course, the big issue in Scotland right now, the referendum, also came up. It is a historic decision facing the people of Scotland on 18th September – one that will have profound implications both north and south of the border.
As a proud Scot myself, I firmly believe that being part of the UK works best for all of us: no borders or barriers means we share our resources, our ideas and our national institutions across all parts of the United Kingdom. We have the best of both worlds: a strong Scottish Parliament means that decisions about areas like health, education, transport and policing are made at Holyrood, within the context of a strong, stable and secure United Kingdom.
There is information available to help people to get all the facts they need to make an informed choice. Detailed analysis and factual information about the Scotland Independence Referendum is available here and the UK Government has developed an online tool to help navigate the Scottish referendum debate, breaking down issues and making them relevant to individual circumstances.