Dr Isabel Bruce OBE, Chair of the David Livingstone Trust, has been named one of Scotland’s most inspirational women.
Dr Bruce was honoured last night by the Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ASB) in its Women of Inspiration Awards, just in time for today’s celebration of International Women’s Day.
The award recognises Dr Bruce as a role model and leader in business, in particular for her work as the driving force behind a £6.1m project to transform Livingstone’s Blantyre birthplace into a hub of learning and cross-cultural importance. Dr Bruce has been instrumental in securing funding for the project from the Scottish Government, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.
Dr Bruce, who received the award at a reception at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce in Glasgow, is also known for her work with the Scotland-Malawi Partnership. As a board member for the Partnership. she encourages multi-sectoral connections between the two nations.
A hands-on management consultant and expert in change management, her other contributions to the community include serving on the boards of the National Museums of Scotland and NMS Charitable Trust. Her contributions to Scottish higher education, including her drive in the creation of the University of the West of Scotland, and her work in Malawi earned Dr Bruce an OBE in 2009.
Dr Bruce said:
“I’m thrilled to have been awarded this accolade by the Association of Scottish Businesswomen on behalf of the David Livingstone Trust. Last night I was in great company, and it couldn’t have been better timed – to give a boost to the David Livingstone Trust team on the eve of a day which celebrates women’s achievements across the globe.”
ASB president Lyndsey Greer Phillips said:
“Our “Inspirational Women” are business leaders, chief executives, trailblazers, charity champions, entrepreneurs, mentors, motivational speakers and adventurers, women who are truly inspirational and worthy of these awards.
“Each of these women is impacting upon the businesses and communities in which they work. They are passionate and pioneering business leaders – selfless and committed charity champions, inspiring and encouraging those around them to overcome barriers and reach their own goals.”
Grant McKenzie, Centre Manager at the David Livingstone Birthplace Project, which opens in 2020, said:
“Isabel Bruce is truly a credit to Scotland and to women. Not only has she carved out a successful and impactful career, but she has become an exceptional community leader. That’s thanks to a passion for education and for Scotland, its history and contributions to society. I view Dr Bruce as a lynchpin in Scotland’s cultural story and a trailblazer for women in business and I’m excited to be working so closely with her on our Birthplace Project. This award is truly well deserved.”
The Birthplace Project will include the renewal of the historic buildings, a newly interpreted exhibition which will showcase artefacts from the Trust’s collection of 3000 objects, and an upgrade of visitor facilities such as the café and shop.
To find out more about the Birthplace Project, go to the website www.david-livingstone-trust.org