The first act of Moray Council’s new SNP administration was to install Shona Morrison as the new convener – the first woman to hold the post.
The Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor was unanimously approved as the civic head of the region, taking over from Conservative James Allan.
Portraits of all the former conveners of the council, which was formed in 1974, hang on the walls at the entrance of its Elgin headquarters.
Yesterday, Mrs Morrison explained she intended to use her position to dispel the idea that senior council figures have to be either “pale, male or stale” – pointing to statistics that show just 27% of all Scottish councillors are women.
She said: “At a national level, women have been represented well. But somehow, at a local level, we seem to be getting it wrong.
“To be honest, the job could be more flexible to encourage more people into it, but I want to highlight that it is something you can balance with family.
“There’s an idea that says ‘If you want a job done, then give it to be a busy woman’ because we are so good at multi-tasking.
“I’d like to use the job to be visible in schools – just to show our young women that there are opportunities in local government for them.”
Mrs Morrison, who previously worked in mental health in the NHS, was elected to Moray Council for the first time at last year’s elections.
The Spey Bay resident has previously been chairwoman of the parent council at Milne’s High School, a committee member at the village hall and remains unit leader for the 2nd Fochabers Brownies group.
She added: “I needed to be convinced to stand at the election. I realised though that being involved in our communities was exactly what was needed from a councillor.
“I’m especially proud to be the first woman to hold this post now.”