On 30 January 2014, the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Dame Rosemary Butler AM announced plans for a Women in Public Life Development Scheme. The scheme, delivered by Chwarae Teg and Cardiff Business School on behalf of the Assembly, was launched on Oct 9 2014.
With women being significantly underrepresented in Public Life this scheme has an important role to play. It will help to ensure the effective development and progression of women into roles that often have a direct influence on people’s lives across Wales.
About the scheme
The WIPL development scheme will provide a mentoring, shadowing and training opportunity for up to 14 women in Wales for a period of up to 18 months.
Mentees will be provided with the skills and confidence to apply for positions in public life through a programme inclusive of intense personal development and skills training, one to one mentoring support and role shadowing opportunities at the highest levels in public bodies.
Why me? Why NOT me?
Women so often question their abilities within their current profession and especially when it comes to applying for something new. At the launch of the development scheme on 09 October 2014, we discussed why women discredit and undervalue themselves by asking the question ‘why me?’ This scheme aims to change the mind-sets of women across Wales so that they start asking ‘why NOT me!’ We invite you to take part in this discussion and help us change attitudes by using #WhyNotMe on our twitter and Facebook accounts. You can see everything that happened at the launch by viewing our picture blog.
Support the scheme
If you, or your organisation, would like to support the scheme by means of providing role shadowing opportunities or contributing to their development in any other way, please express your interest via [email protected]
Watch three of the mentees discussing their journey on the Women in Public Life Development Scheme so far…
13 July, 2015
On 26 June 2015, the Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, hosted a conference on Gender Equality in Public Life with CALRE Delegates. The Delegates were introduced to mentor, Joy Kent and mentee Rhian Bowen- Davies from the Women in Public Life Development Scheme. They shared their experience of taking part in the development scheme and what this scheme means for women in Wales.
The Development Scheme is innovative and new in Wales. Mentee Rhian is already a strong female leader as Chief Executive of CALAN DV, but was interested in the Scheme because she didn’t know what she wanted to do next. Rhian wanted a role that was value driven, so she could make a difference to a community, as many women who seek opportunities in public life often do.
‘When we are leaders, we often think of others’ development, but neglect our own’. Rhian’s expectations of the development scheme were that it would build her confidence and knowledge of public appointments. Because despite being confident and having excellent knowledge in her current sector, she was not confident in applying for a public appointment because it was outside of her skill set.
Mentor Joy Kent, Chief Executive of Chwarae Teg said ‘You meet women every day who are perfectly capable, it’s just making them realise it’
27 April 2015, Sara Robinson: mentee and Managing Director of Brighter Comms
A crisp February morning and a group of six lucky mentees gathered on Cardiff Central station, clutching our train tickets and looking forward to the day ahead.
Thanks to the Presiding Officer’s Women in Public Life development scheme delivered by Chwarae Teg and Cardiff Business School, we were being given the opportunity to travel to the House of Lords and find out about the work of the chamber. We were all understandably excited about the day ahead, where we would be given behind-the-scenes access and meet two Baronesses, who would be our guides for the day. Despite the fact that all of us hold senior positions in business, charity and academic organisations, the sense of excitement was palpable. It felt like a school trip with some politics and fact-finding thrown in for good measure. So off we set with our coffees and cameras at the ready, curious about what to expect.
Arriving at the House of Lords was an experience in itself; like stepping into a secret world. It made me think of Hogwarts where big decisions are made. Some of us had been watching the BBC’s new behind-the-scenes documentary on the House of Commons, but there were still plenty of gasps at the opulence of the building; all oak panels and ornate wood carvings. It felt like we were stepping onto hallowed turf, and we were all very conscious of stepping into history.
After clearing security, another mentee Cathy Lisle and I were greeted by Baroness Anita Gale, who was warm and friendly and keen to show us the breathtaking building she is lucky enough to call her office.
Meeting Anita Gale was exciting in itself. She is a Labour Party whip who speaks from the opposition frontbench on Justice, Equalities, and Welsh matters, having joined the House of Lords as a life Peer in 1999.