The 2019/20 programme

For the first time, the participants in the 2019/20 Young Women Lead programme are primarily young women from ethnic minorities. The aim of this is to support better representation and reflect that there has never been an ethnic minority woman elected to the Scottish Parliament.

From October to December 2019, the group met at the YWCA Glasgow Centre for training sessions, covering issues such as social media activism, how to engage with local government and carrying out research.

In January 2020 the participants met in the Scottish Parliament for the first time and, along with learning more about how the Scottish Parliament works, had the important task of deciding what their inquiry topic for this year should be. After lots of discussion, they chose the following:

The transition from education to employment for young women in Scotland from ethnic minorities.

The Inquiry

On Friday 28th February, the Young Women Lead Committee held it’s first meeting in the Scottish Parliament, chaired as in previous years by Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani MSP.

At this first meeting, the committee heard from a panel of witnesses, invited to give evidence on the inquiry.

  • Surbjit Dhillon, Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO)
  • Fergus McMillan, Skills Development Scotland
  • Dilraj Sokhi Watson, Amina The Muslim Women’s Resource Centre
  • Trishna Singh, Sikh Sanjog
  • Viana Maya, Adopt an Intern

Following this meeting, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group have been meeting virtually to plan and deliver their engagement work. They have been working in two groups focusing on the different aspects of the inquiry: education and employment. Each group launched online surveys to seek views and experiences from those with lived experience, as well as educators and employers.

Read the YWL blog for more details on the surveys

To supplement the evidence gathered in the surveys, they also carried out phone interviews and online focus groups to gain additional insight.

In September, the group shared updates on their engagement activities and presented their findings in a meeting with Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities.

Read the reports they produced from their engagement work:

Employer Data Summary

It is intended that they will publish a report with recommendations to the Scottish Government at the end of September. Watch this space!

2019/20 Participants

Convener of the Young Women Lead Committee: Linda Fabiani MSP – Deputy Presiding Officer

Amina Ibrahim      Ayah-Sofia Semlali  Bahiya Basheikh
Chiara Puppi Lareb Naeem Lauryn Mwale 
Maddy Planche Mahdiya Zubairi Miriam Hussain 
Natalie Bello Negar Ebrahimi Nikki Chung 
Nour Rifai Oreoluwa Fadun Prabina Khanal 
Rabya Akhtar Ramandeep Kaur Raveena Sajjan 
Revati Campbell Rita Modi Samera Iqbal 
Sehar Gilani Taiba Ali Temi Atsegoh
Valentina Servera Clavell Valeria Indyukova   

Parliamentary Staff

  • Hayley Forrester – Project Lead
  • Katrina Venters – Clerk to Young Women Lead Committee
  • Anne Jepson – Researcher
  • Gillian Baxendine – Senior Management Support
  • Linda Peters – Media Relations Officer
  • Iram Imtiaz – Web & Social Media
  • Sameerah Ali/Marah Chikuse – BAME network support

YWCA staff

  • Elena Soper – Programmes Coordinator
  • Sara Al-mashat – Young Women Lead Intern
  • Patrycja Kupiec – Director

Follow along

Follow Scottish Parliament on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest on the Young Women Lead programme. 

You can also follow the hashtags #youngwomenlead and #scotwomenrise on those platforms.

On Instagram, @YoungWomenScot will be adding to their ongoing Insta-Story about the programme.


YWL 1st Meeting

YWL Final Report 2020

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