Dr Yvonne Anne Strachan CBE



A Deputy Director in the Scottish Government, Yvonne Strachan led its work to champion equality, human rights and the third sector.

In a lifetime commitment to equality and social justice, Yvonne has worked to tackle discrimination and prejudice and to strengthen the voice and participation of people facing inequality and disadvantage. She has been instrumental in shaping Scotland’s approach to equality and positioning Scotland as a global leader in the support of social enterprise.

Yvonne joined the Civil Service in 1999 in the then new role Head of Equality, supporting Ministers to advance equality in Scotland. In 2011, she took on responsibilities for the Third Sector including social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, and, in 2012, for Human Rights.

In those roles she helped secure Scotland’s position in areas such as equality budgeting, the integration of refugees and support for asylum seekers, tackling violence against women and in LGBTI rights. Under her leadership, Scotland extended its international reputation for social enterprise and developed for the first time, a co-produced 10-year strategy. She led work on the first governmental public campaign on race equality – One Scotland – and on legislation to promote equality including areas such as impact assessment and pay-gap reporting.

Before joining the Civil Service, Yvonne was a senior trade unions official and the first women’s organiser for the TGWU in Scotland. She served on advisory groups to the Minister for State for Scotland and the Equal Opportunities Commission. She was an Executive member of the Constitutional Convention, Chair of the Scottish Convention of Women and a member of the STUC Women’s Committee. In those roles she played a leading part in the pursuit of gender equality and in the campaign for 50:50 in the Scottish Parliament.

A former director of the leading social enterprise WISE group and Board member of Scottish Enterprise, Yvonne received an OBE in 1997 for services to industrial relations and equal opportunities and a CBE in 2015 for services to equality.

MINT (Mentoring, Internships, Networking and Talks) Supporting the Class of 2020


View a range of benefits and services available to you including access to GCU's stunning new facilities.


 Please update your details to make sure you can receive the alumni magazine, details of events and special alumni offers.