Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Womenspire Awards 2017 – Chwarae Teg Seeks Nominations by and on Behalf of Women


Chwarae Teg, Wales’ leading gender equality charity, is seeking nominations by and on behalf of women from all backgrounds and stages in life or work for its Womenspire Awards 2017.

Womenspire recognises women who are proud of what they are achieving – whether it’s in their private or professional lives or in the wider community.

With the deadline for nominations for this year’s awards being 11th May, we spoke to some of Wales’ leading women in business to find out who most inspires them.

Caroline Vanner, associate director of residential development and sales at Savills

“One of my greatest inspirations is Welsh entrepreneur, Lisa Marie Brown. She set up her company, Pinkspiration, six years ago with a goal of increasing diversity and skills in the construction industry.

“Women are still heavily underrepresented in construction and make up only 11 per cent of the sector workforce. Lisa is breaking new ground to inspire more young women to develop the vital skills needed to progress in the sector.”

Sara Robinson, managing director of Cardiff-based Brighter Comms

“My inspiration tends to come from the women around me and both of my grandmothers are big influences on me. Hazel, my maternal grandmother, somehow raised eight children while co-founding a family taxi business and working for an insurance company. She worked when it wasn’t the done thing for women, and her canny approach to work and money meant she could travel around Europe with her children in the 1960s; a real rarity then.

“My paternal grandmother also did a great job raising her family in the toughest of circumstances, and her non-judgmental approach to life and resilience are qualities I hope I inherited from her. My own mother went back to university as a mature student, and managed to carve a career path for herself despite having four young children. Now I have just one son of my own, I look at the women around me and wonder how they ever managed.

“I think it’s easy to look at successful businesswomen, but I think there’s so much to learn from the women in our everyday lives too; often, they’ve had the toughest battles and barriers to tackle.”

Barbara Natasegara, co-CEO of Safer Wales 

“I am particularly inspired by women who have overcome adversity in their lives and have gone on to campaign for justice for others.

“Rachel Williams, who won the personal achievement award at last year’s Womenspire ceremony, is a fantastic inspiration to other survivors of domestic abuse and has shown an extraordinary amount of determination.

“Oprah Winfrey is also incredibly inspiring. She is a successful business leader, actor, director and producer and has worked extremely hard to overcome barriers in her life to achieve her goals.”

Cerys Furlong, chief executive at Chwarae Teg

“There are so many inspirational women in Wales and across the world who have inspired me throughout my work and life. I could point to a number of women pushing the boundaries and breaking barriers in business, the arts, in education or in public life.

“However, there are also those much closer to home who inspire me on a daily basis through their work, such as Dr Victoria Winckler. Victoria is the director of The Bevan Foundation, a think tank working to make Wales more fair, prosperous and sustainable.

“I have been a trustee of the Bevan Foundation for a number of years, and what inspires me about Victoria is her absolute drive to seek out evidence of what works to make Wales better; her unfailing commitment to solutions that make Wales fairer and more equal; and above all, her willingness to voice ideas and opinions that aren’t always popular but are usually right. She is pushing us all to think differently and be more radical for a better Wales.”

For more details and to nominate, visit: