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Encouraging More Young Welsh Women into Non-Executive Director Roles

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Awen Cultural Trust, a registered charity based in Bridgend county borough, is offering two young women the chance to gain board level experience, thanks to their partnership with Chwarae Teg’s ‘Step to Non Exec’ 12-month programme.

Ava Plowright, a Fundraiser at Shelter Cymru, and Ceri James, Senior HR Business Partner at Pobl Group, will spend the next year receiving practical experience and skills training from Awen’s voluntary Board of Trustees.

They will receive one-to-one mentoring, shadowing opportunities and chances to attend board meetings and planning events as part of the programme, aimed at encouraging more women aged between 21 and 30 into Non-Executive Director roles.

Awen Cultural Trust manages a range of cultural services and facilities including the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, Maesteg Town Hall, Bryngarw House and Country Park, Blaengarw Workmen’s Hall, libraries, community centres, and two projects for adults with disabilities.

Chief Executive Richard Hughes said:

“At Awen, we are proud of our experienced Trustees who are committed to championing the work of our charity and providing good governance. To ensure our board reflects the diversity of our sector and is representative of the communities and people we serve, we were keen to partner with Chwarae Teg and offer two young women the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to apply for future non-executive positions. We are delighted to welcome Ava and Ceri, both ambitious and talented in their own fields of work, on board and look forward to working with them over the next 12 months.”

Emma Tamplin from Chwarae Teg said:

“At Chwarae Teg we work to inspire, lead and deliver on gender equality in Wales. We recognise the need for, and benefits of, more women working at the top level of organisations. It’s vital that women from all walks of life are visible and influential across all sectors of the economy, society and public life. Boards with a gender balance simply work better, so it is excellent that Ava and Ceri have a passion for leading change and want to get their voices heard by taking on non-exec roles.”

Speaking about their participation in the Step to Non Exec programme, Ava Plowright said:

“It is fantastic that Chwarae Teg is addressing the lack of opportunities for young women to become board members through this scheme. I am passionate about the role of arts and heritage in Wales, having previously worked in fundraising at the Wales Millennium Centre before joining Shelter Cymru, so I’m excited that I can keep a connection with this sector through Awen Cultural Trust.”

Ceri James added:

“Reaching a strategic position at a young age, Step to Non-Exec seemed like the ideal development opportunity for me. I am looking forward to developing a more holistic view of how Board members contribute to the success of an organisation. Awen Cultural Trust’s values resonated with me as I am particularly interested in the principles of positive psychology and passionate about making a difference. I am really excited about this opportunity and hope it will be the stepping stone to progressing my career at an executive level and give me the confidence to apply for future Board positions.”