My experience has been different from many others first joining the Scottish Parliament. I came in two-thirds of the way through a term, after the Shetland by-election.

Then with only a few months to get settled in, the pandemic struck, followed by the Salmond/Sturgeon committee evidence sessions, so the atmosphere in parliament was pressured.

My Scottish Liberal Democrat colleagues are all men and have been nothing other than supportive and helpful. I can’t recall any situations in the Parliament or Chamber where I might have been treated differently for being a woman.

I recognise that this is a very lucky position to be in and I do not doubt that the experiences of others might have been different to mine.

One recent incident stands out in my mind in reflecting just how far we have come and how far we have to go.

During the signing of the Islands Growth Deal in Kirkwall in January, representatives from the three island groups, Orkney, the Western Isles and Shetland, were sitting together.

It struck me that Shetland’s Political Leader, Council Chief Executive and MSP are all women, a sign of moving times in terms of reflecting a shift in gender representation. The other island groups representatives were all male.

Women belong in politics and in Parliament. We still have a long way to go until the make-up of society is reflected in the make-up of our democratic institutions.”

Beatrice Wishart is the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for Shetland.