Presiding Officer fulfils pledge to encourage more women into public life

Published 18/04/2013   |   Last Updated 14/07/2014

Presiding Officer fulfils pledge to encourage more women into public life

18 April 2013

A series of high-profile women from different walks of public life will make keynote addresses at a series of events being organised by the National Assembly for Wales.

The sessions with public figures are a result of the mandate given to Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler AM, at the Women in Public Life Conference held at the National Assembly in November 2012. The aim was to encourage more women to get involved in civic society by becoming school governors, members of boards of public bodies, Magistrates or other roles in public life.

The Presiding Officer identified a number of fields such as science and engineering, and sport, where women are particularly under-represented.

Forums for discussion were held on and around International Women’s Day on 8 March with leading scientist Baroness Susan Greenfield and the Chair of Sports Wales, Professor Laura McAllister.

Additional areas such as law and civil liberties, and the media have now been identified as fields where women face barriers and future speakers will include civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti on 2 July, and broadcaster and journalist Janet Street Porter on 10 October.

Other figures taking part in the sessions will be Welsh Paralympic great Tanni Grey-Thompson and former Radio 1 presenter Bethan Elfyn.

“One of the main mandates given to me by the Women in Public Life conference was to provide more role models and mentoring opportunities to women,” the Presiding Officer said.

“I believe that part of that process is demonstrating to women across Wales, that women can get to the top of their profession and become an inspiration to us all.

“That’s why the National Assembly is organising a series of events where leading female figures will share the wisdom of their experience, and tell us how they think we can remove barriers to women getting involved in public life.

“But our commitment doesn’t end with these sessions. , the Assembly will soon launch a new web portal. It will act as a one-stop shop for women who want to find out more about the opportunities open to them in public life, how to apply, and benefit from the shared experiences of other women.”

Tickets for the Shami Chakrabarti event, will be available from mid-May by ringing the Assembly’s booking line on 0845 010 5500 or emailing