Inspirational Women

There are already many amazing women who are helping to shape Wales and the UK in a number of ways; as Public Appointees, Trustees of charities, Board members of public and private organisations and alongside volunteering there are also some inspirational role models working to further the equality of opportunity in public life.

We wanted to highlight the journey these women have made towards success to show that barriers can be overcome and inspire more women to take steps to achieving a public appointment themselves.

If you are or know of a woman who is an inspiration to others get in touch so that we can share your story.

Councillor Sara Jones

Sara was elected onto Monmouthshire County Council in May 2012, she represents the Llanover ward and sits SaraJoneson a number of committees including Economy and Development and Children and Young People.  Sara is also Head of Wales for public affairs consultancy Grayling, based in Cardiff Bay and combines her role as an elected member with a demanding ‘day job’. She graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc (Econ) degree in Politics and a MSc (Econ) in European Public Policy. From a farming background, Sara has lived in Monmouthshire all of her life and currently lives with her partner on their farm in Usk with their two year old daughter. 

She was inspired to get more involved in public life by her passion for her hometown, wanting to set the strategic direction of the county and to work for the residents of Monmouthshire in promoting the area as a fantastic place to live and work.  As her interest in politics grew she became acutely aware of the lack of representation by women in local government and was keen to help redress that balance and empower other women to do the same.

Sara loves the diversity of being an elected member and enjoys meeting interesting people across Monmouthshire and Wales, helping her understand the motivations and challenges that people from all walks of life face on a daily basis.

She didn’t step into this position easily and suffered somewhat with confidence issues from the beginning; “It has taken me quite a few years to feel like I was in a position to put myself forward as an elected member. A male dominated environment such as local government can be quite a scary prospect for a women in her twenties and so it has taken encouragement for others to realise the opportunities available.”

Sara is constantly inspired by the range of women she encounters in her day role as Head of Wales for Grayling and the residents she represents in Council but on a personal level she cites one woman in particular as a role model of sorts.

“I’ve previously had a fantastic female manager who rose up through the ranks of a very male-led industry and she had a very positive influence in terms of my career aspirations. The support I have received from the leader of the council, my local MP, AM has also had a very positive effect.”

Sara’s advice to other women considering a position in public life is “find yourself a support network of people who have been in a similar position and don’t be afraid to ask for advice.”  

As for aspirations for the future of leadership she had this to say; “Only 26% of Councillors in Wales are women and I am passionate about trying to increase participation for a more representative society. The skills and experience women can bring to roles in public life is invaluable and the more visible we are the more we will empower others into similar positions.”
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