Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 16:50 UK

First female keeper makes history

Sheenagh Adams
Sheenagh Adams begins her new role on 1 July

The new keeper of the Registers of Scotland has vowed to take more of a 21st Century role by speaking to people to explain what they do.

Sheenagh Adams, will become the first woman in history to hold the post when she starts on 1 July.

The post of keeper has existed in various forms since 1617 when it was created during the reign of James VI.

The St Andrews University graduate will replace James Meldrum who is retiring from the post.

It is always pleasing to do something first and I am very keen to see women succeed in Scotland
Sheenagh Adams
Registers of Scotland

Speaking to BBC Scotland news website, Mrs Adams admitted that often people did not know that the Registers of Scotland deals with land and property as they get mixed up with the General Register Office for Scotland, which covers births and deaths.

She said: "I don't think people know what we do and it is my role to make sure they do.

"I want to be outward-focused and speak to customers. In the 21st century people have higher expectations so we have to respond to this."

She said she was "very excited" about going down in history as the first woman in the role.

She said: "Men have been reflected well in past employment patterns but I think things are changing with more women taking on these roles.

"It is always pleasing to do something first and I am very keen to see women succeed in Scotland."

Mrs Adams is currently the managing director at Registers of Scotland and joined the organisation in April 2006.

She started her civil service career in 1990 after 11 years in local government and the voluntary sector working in housing and welfare rights.

Her civil service career has included posts in housing, rural affairs, the natural and built heritage, and the voluntary sector.

Mrs Adams has an MA (Hons) in Mediaeval History from St Andrews University and a diploma in Housing Studies from Glasgow University. She lives in Linlithgow with her husband and two daughters.



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