THE last two words in your front-page headline (“Sturgeon: There are still a lot of male dinosaurs in politics”, March 8) are superfluous; there are male dinosaurs in most walks of life, very often in the top jobs. And, guess what, they’re usually white.

The UK (yes, including Scotland) operates an elaborate caste system that makes India’s look simple. You’re awarded points for being male and points for being white; a variable number of points for the school and university you went to; and points for who you know, or whom daddy knows.

What hope, then, for those who turn up at a job interview with no points beside their name? The candidate from the privileged background already has at least half the points they need, and you have none; you’re going to struggle to close that gap.

This is a tragedy for all the bright young people who rarely get a foot on the ladder. But it’s also a tragedy for the rest of us as we fail to use the talents of all our citizens and end up with organisations run by management teams overwhelmingly “male, pale and stale”.

It’s 17 years since Greg Dyke, the then Director General of the BBC, observed that the BBC was “hideously white”; at senior level, it was also hideously male. The BBC appears to have made progress since but clearly not enough and the same could be said of many other organisations in the UK.

We need to change the culture so that ability and potential are recognised rather than appearance, background and connections. Changing a culture isn’t easy, but that’s no excuse for not trying.

Doug Maughan,

52 Menteith View, Dunblane.

I FIND it interesting that the First Minister, par for the course for the SNP, finds something or someone to blame. The SNP is forever blaming Westminster for matters not being as they should be in Scotland. Now Nicola Sturgeon blames men for what she believes to have been her “aggressive” behaviour in the early part of her political career.

Then she was described as being “adversarial”. She believes that was a phase and that she has changed as she became more experienced.

You could have fooled me. It is difficult to find anyone in the Parliament at Holyrood more “adversarial” and “aggressive” during debates. She says that, whenever a young woman asks for advice, she always says: “Just be yourself.” Looking at her career in politics, I believe that credo has been consistently followed by her as she takes no prisoners among her political opponents, particularly the “Tories”.

Ian W Thomson,

38 Kirkintilloch Road, Lenzie.

I HOLD no particular brief for the SNP’s firebrand Mhairi Black but her graphic revelation of totally unacceptable and misogynistic online abuse suggests that, in some quarters, she may be doing something right after all.

R Russell Smith,

96 Milton Road, Kilbirnie.