Nicola Sturgeon on power and the fiftysomething woman

I’m really thrilled to launch this season with one of my long time fantasy guests. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland since 2015, has been dubbed one of the most powerful women in British politics, if not in Britain, and she shows no sign of stopping.

Now 51, she grew up the eldest of two in an ordinary working class family in Ayrshire. Her mum was a dental nurse, her dad an electrician, she went to a state school and was the first in her family to go to university. In the 1970s and 80s - not a world where ordinary working class girls were expected to branch out - she was taught by her parents that she could - and she believed them, joining the SNP at 16 and becoming the youngest candidate standing in the 1991 election.

Unfortunately Omicron stopped us meeting in person (shame because I’ve heard the loos at Bute House are worth a snoop!), but Nicola joined me remotely to talk about what it means to be a fifty something woman in the corridors of power - from having to work twice as hard to be taken half as seriously and why a little bit of self doubt is good for you. ( I can think of a few male politicians who might benefit…)

She was also incredibly open about “being in the foothills of menopause”, preparing to take HRT and what happens if you have a hot flush in parliament. It’s always been my aim to ask powerful women to speak up about menopause so I couldn’t be more grateful to Nicola for taking time out to have this conversation.

PLUS she’s shared a whole host of brilliant book recommendations at the end.

You can buy all the books Nicola recommends at, plus the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!

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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

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