Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC

Written by Tami Kalsi,

To be quite honest, before hearing her speak, I wasn’t sure who Patricia Scotland was or what the Queen’s Counsel even was. After listening to Patricia for only a few moments, it was apparent – this lady is phenomenal! Patricia has broken several boundaries, including:

  • The first woman to become Secretary of the Queen’s Counsel at only 35 years old.
  • The first black woman to become a Deputy High Court Judge.
  • The first woman to be appointed Attorney General, since it was created in 1315.

But what made Patricia so captivating to listen to was the incredible humility, motivation and warmth that she embodied whilst speaking about her life and her accomplishments.

In case you missed it, here are 3 key messages that Patricia had for us:

“Don’t let other people put limits on your ambition”
Patricia always had a desire to be a barrister. However, her sceptical teacher believed becoming a manager at Sainsbury’s, which is where she worked at weekends, was a more realistic goal for Patricia. After all, she was a “poor, black woman, with no contacts”. How could she become a barrister? Patricia went on to become a barrister at just 21 years-old and even joined the House of Lords in 1997. I’d like to think that a woman like Patricia used this experience to further drive her towards thriving in a career that she wanted rather than what others deemed acceptable for her.

“Being female ought to be no impediment on what you can achieve.”
What is astounding about Patricia is her commitment to empowering other women. Throughout the talk, Patricia advocated about helping other women and “hoped to hear of the 300th woman to be Attorney general”! The idea being that the podium should be shared, she explained, “if I can do it, so can you”. This has been translated to Patricia’s work – she introduced the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act. As 1 in 3 women will be a victim of domestic violence, tackling issues like these are imperative for females feeling able to rise economically and socially.

“There is only one you and nobody can do YOU better than you.”
Patricia has faced many obstacles. But, most importantly, Patricia believed in herself and she worked hard. Patricia began her talk with “My story…is one that many of you have experienced and may be experiencing now”. I couldn’t quite believe that to be true at the time. Patricia’s story is impressively unique. After all, this is a woman who has broken so many ceilings. However, after listening to Patricia, I left the talk feeling that Patricia’s recipe for success is one that each of us have inside ourselves. “Recognise that you are powerful and you have choices.”

Patricia manifests everything that Rising Girl stands for – educating, empowering and inspiring girls to rise to their full potential. Patricia certainly has risen from the Walthamstow girl, who worked at Sainsburys at the weekends. Will you be rising with her?

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