|Lord Rector of the University of Edinburgh|
1 March 2018
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
Henderson graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in Sociology and Social Administration in 1978. While at Edinburgh, she was involved in editing The Student newspaper. She subsequently gained a diploma in Youth and Community Work from Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University).
From 1982, Henderson worked in the rail industry, employed as a ticket collector, guard and ultimately becoming one of Scotland's first female train drivers in 1992. During this time, she played an active role in the National Union of Railwaymen trade union, now the RMT union. Henderson set up the NUR Women's Advisory Committee in 1987 and campaigned for gender and social justice. She played an important role in developing policies on sexual harassment, equality and representing women in the rail industry. She left the RMT in late 2007 to take up a position as Assistant Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) in late 2007.
Henderson was employed as a researcher and parliamentary assistant to Susan Deacon MSP in the Scottish Parliament, where she also served as Scottish Commissioner on the Women's National Commission from 2008-2010. Henderson was an active member of Campaign for Socialism, an autonomous pressure group of Scottish Labour Party members and stood in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election as a Labour Party candidate for the Lothian electoral region. She was shortlisted as a Labour Party candidate for the Morningside ward in the 2017 City of Edinburgh Council election.
In February 2018, Henderson was voted Rector of the University of Edinburgh, becoming the second woman to hold the position following Muriel Gray. She beat the only other candidate, Marco Bauder, with 77% of the vote. She replaced the outgoing Rector, Steve Morrison.