Sarra Bejaoui insisted more efforts must be made to help females into leadership roles after being named Business Woman of the Year for 2020.
The Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Edinburgh-based SmartPA was given the honour by Business Women Scotland (BWS) at their annual awards, which were held virtually on Friday November 6.
The business and admin support provider, which was founded by Bejaoui in 2008, services thousands of clients and boasts a partnership network which now extends to 16 countries worldwide.
It is a source of pride, she said, that SmartPA’s efforts have “empowered thousands of females globally to start their own businesses and get back to work.”
And while the BWS award, she added, “celebrates and recognises the talent, impact and difference women are making today and in the future in business and global economy,” there is still much more work to be completed.
Bejaoui said: “Women make up 50 per cent of the talent pool globally, and they’re a huge part in the success we’ve had in making our clients more efficient. But we need more women in the boardrooms of businesses in this country where they have a powerful role to play.
“I want to see more respect for feminine qualities in the world of work and their value and impact. I’d love to see more women leading business in their natural skin, rather than feeling they must mirror their equal.
“Those strengths, when they come together, are properly game-changing. In SmartPA, our five senior leaders are female and they impact on our growth every single day. And the more society helps create those opportunities, the better it will be for sustainability and a safer global economy.”