News Release

Interfaith Scotland Women’s Leadership Workshop with Dr Susan R Madsen

World-renowned Latter-day Saint scholar keynotes Interfaith Scotland’s women and leadership event

Women from all faiths and beliefs recently participated in a women’s leadership workshop featuring global thought leader, scholar, speaker and author, Professor Dr Susan R Madsen. Interfaith Scotland hosted the event with 45 women from Scotland, England and other parts of the world attending.

Dr Susan R Madsen
Dr Susan R Madsen, Orin R Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

In her remarks to the group, Dr Madsen said “We are women of influence. We are women of strength, and women who need to use their voices to move forward . . . really moving our countries and our cities and our world forward. . . There's never a better time [than] right now.”

Dr Madsen addressed the group via videoconference from her home office in Utah, in the western United States, and said it is important to understand why women’s leadership matters.

She said research shows when men and women work together, both for-profit and non-profit organisations see an increase in productivity and innovation, higher employee satisfaction and greater financial performance. In addition, when women are valued members of leadership, teams are more able to find solutions to complex problems.

“Working in interfaith relations has opened my eyes to the key role women play in their communities across the globe,” said Dr Maureen Sier, director of Interfaith Scotland. “Dr. Madsen helped all of us find new ways to unlock our purpose, creativity and gifts. In addition, she helped us explore the barriers that face us in our desire to become good leaders and to challenge ourselves to step forward without fear.”

Dr Madsen spoke of three foundational elements to be mindful of in leadership development:

Identity. She encouraged women to see themselves as leaders, know their strengths and to help empower and endorse others.

Purpose or calling. “If we feel called, we will then step forward and engage in leadership.”

Unconscious bias. “We all have biases, we do make assumptions. The more I learn about unconscious bias, the more I tend to be better a better Christian, a better influencer.”

During the 90-minute session, Dr Madsen engaged the group in a discussion and break out groups where attendees shared perspectives and personal experiences that shape leadership identity.

Dr Susan Madsen (second row, right) shares insight with attendees at Interfaith Scotland’s Women and Leadership Workshop© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
   The workshop was originally scheduled to take place in Glasgow in March, but due to COVID-19 concerns was rescheduled to 21 May in an abbreviated online format.

Attendee Evelyn Liston said, “Dr Madsen’s presentation was insightful and engaging. It was also helpful to hear the perspectives of others who attended. I hope that Dr Madsen will be able to share additional information in the future, perhaps even in person.”


About Dr Madsen

Professor Dr Susan R. Madsen is considered one of the top global scholars and thought leaders on the topic of women’s leadership, has authored or edited six books, and has published hundreds of articles, chapters, and reports. Her research has been cited in the U.S. News and World Report, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Washington Post. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes and other local and state newspapers. Dr. Madsen is the Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University and serves on many nonprofit and community boards. Her passion is to strengthen the impact of girls and women worldwide.

About Interfaith Scotland

Interfaith Scotland is a Scottish charity that promotes and facilitates constructive engagement between different faith and belief communities across Scotland through dialogue, educational activities, civic engagement and the promotion of religious equality.

The organisation provides a forum for people from diverse religions to converse with one another on matters of religious, national and civic importance. They facilitate dialogue for local interfaith groups, faith communities, young people, women, religious leaders, their members and members of the general public. In addition, Interfaith Scotland educates and engages through presentations and seminars, religion and belief equality training, school workshops and producing resources.

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