Once again supported by ITV Wales and a host of forward-thinking sponsors we will recognise women in every aspect of life, from personal achievements to outstanding contribution.

Chwarae Teg Womenspire Awards is an opportunity for us to highlight women overcoming barriers and supporting other women to achieve and prosper, and to inspire future generations.

Now in their seventh year the awards will, for the first time ever, become a hybrid event – taking place at a the Pierhead Building, Cardiff, whilst being simultaneously broadcast to thousands via ITV Cymru Wales’ Face Book Live and Twitter.

Taking place on Thursday 29 September, the event promises to be an epic night of inspirational stories and entertainment.

What’s really humbling is that many of these women have no idea how fantastic they are and it’s just an amazing opportunity for ITV to be able to share their stories.

Andrea Byrne
ITV Cymru Wales

2022 Womenspire Awards: Finalists Announced!

For the seventh year in a row, we’ve been in awe of the incredible women nominated for our Womenspire Awards.

Chwarae Teg staff and the judging panel have been moved by the stories from our shortlisted nominations and we’re excited to bring you the 2022 finalists, whittled down from hundreds of entries from across Wales. A big thank you to everyone who joined our judging panels this year, we are very grateful for your time and support. We know you agree that all the finalists are incredible!

See who took part in the judging process – our judging panel

Please click on a category for profiles of each of the finalists.
Community Connector

Supported by Mencap Cymru & The Wales Learning Disability Helpline. This award will recognise a woman with a learning disability being bold and passionate about changing their community.

Dawn Gullis, Cardiff

Bright, confident, but also sensitive and thoughtful to others; in her role with Cardiff People First, Dawn has a knack of finding the changemakers in the room and putting them on the spot in the most engaging way. She leads by supporting others and helping them to create links, encouraging them, forging new links and bringing new opportunities.

Sophie Hinksman, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

Sophie is a tireless campaigner who has been very active in the field of self-advocacy and the rights of people with learning disabilities – seeking to address the inequalities they face. She was the first Chair of All Wales People First’s National Council, is an active member of Pembrokeshire People First and co-chair of the Learning Disability Ministerial Advisory Group. Sophie acts as a bridge between the lived experience of people with learning disabilities and autism and Welsh Government and academics across a wide range of sectors.

Sarah Griffiths, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Kind and supportive to her core, everything Sarah does in life aims to improve the lives of others – advocating for women and men with learning disabilities on a daily basis. She puts others first in her self advocacy role with Monmouthshire People First and has been fundamental in the development of the new Once for Wales Health Profile – a communication tool for people with learning disabilities to support them when they access healthcare.

Frances Caroline Holmes, Llanfairfechan, Conwy

Having been an active member of Conwy Connect for over 10 years, and a Trustee for the charity for a year, Fran became a Health Check Champion for Conwy Connect in 2021 – promoting health screenings to people with a learning disability, across North Wales through information workshops. Fran is a diving force who enthusiasm and dedication inspires her colleagues and those she communicates with every day.

Community Champion

There are many examples of women who have contributed significantly to our communities – particularly at times of crisis or challenge. The winner will be an unsung hero – someone who tends to hide from the limelight but whose community holds them up as a role model for other women and girls across Wales.

Dee Llywellyn, Neath

Being a disabled woman, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community with a transgender child, Dee quickly recognised that there was a lack of support and resources for parents like her and a lot of discrimination faced by youth especially. Dee took it upon herself to adress this, and has created supportive communities and networks, training opportunities, inclusive events and many incredibly valuable resources for people like her.

Debbie Anne Turnbull, Llandudno

Just 3 weeks after Debbie’s son tragically drowned, Debbie was delivering support and education to young people about drowning prevention at her sons school as well as training the teachers in how to handle loss. Now having educated over 510,000 young people and delivering training to businesses and organisations across the country, Debbie is truly supporting her community by giving them the insight and valuable information she has.

Zarah Kaleem, Newport

As a young woman from an ethnic minority background who has a learning disability, Zarah realised that there was a lot of discrimination and judgement for people like her and within her community. Therefore, Zarah took it upon herself to deliver training and awareness courses within schools and businesses and has come a long way with her own confidence and personal achievements too, acting as a role model for others like her.

Angharad Roche and Claire Wright, Cardiff

Friends Angharad and Claire set up Camper Gurlz in April 2021 – organising events for lesbian and bi women to alleviate the isolation and loneliness a lot of women were feeling during the pandemic. Now a large vibrant and supportive community of 1,500 in Facebook, the group is based on inclusivity and having fun. They have created a large variety of events from camping to bunk house weekends, coasteering, pottery, quad biking, clay pigeon shooting, bowling and meals out and developed Escape Events as part of the community.

Entrepreneur

Fewer women start businesses than men and the average income of a self employed woman is currently around £10,000. This award celebrates those women who have bucked the trend and set up successful businesses with real growth potential.

Maggie Ogunbanwo, Penygroes, Caernarfon

Culinary creator Maggie is living her dream as CEO of Maggie’s An African Twist to Your Everyday Dish®. She has brought a taste of Africa to Penygroes through food and plays a key part in the community by supporting other local businesses. As an entrepreneur and mentor Maggie works hard to lift other women and help them succeed and fulfil their potential. She has also authored cook books as well as “100 Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me”!

Stacey Grant-Canham, Cardiff

Stacey is a strong feminist fashion designer, empowering and celebrating women with the unique and powerful clothes and jewellery she designs. She set up Black & Beech in 2016, promotes sustainable and slow fashion with her business and has philanthropy at her core – supporting numerous charities and raising public awareness about gender equality, feminism and social and political issues. A passionate reader and a book lover she also sells intersectional feminist books online.

Katie Moss, Newport

Katie has a big heart and genuinely cares about her clients, going above and beyond, as Managing Director of Otium Concierge. Katie started the business in 2017 when made redundant as a Private Banker. She is a true leader and has doubled her turnover year on year since starting the business. The business now has a team of five and is continuing to grow. Katie does all this whilst being a single mum to two-year-old, William, starting a networking club, and being a volunteer ambassador for Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice

Katie Clements-McCreesh, Neath Port Talbot

A fitness trainer who provides the support, flexibility and understanding that women need on a health and fitness journey. As Director of KCM Fitness, Katie is a brave entrepreneur with a kind heart who has a strong work ethic – building her business from nothing to a place where it is thriving. Providing online training for women, with gym access, Katie always goes above and beyond and holds the welfare of women central to her business goals.

Gender Equality Champion

Our Gender Equality Champion award will recognise an individual, of any gender, who has taken a proactive approach to close the gender divide in their workplace. This person will be a real role model who understands why gender diversity is of benefit to all employees, not just women. They will have run a successful initiative or campaign to directly address gender imbalance, leading to a positive impact and improvements for individual employees and their organisation as a whole.

Gemma Jones, Llanyrafon

As head of business intelligence at IPO, Gemma is bringing her principles and values into her role, by creating safe spaces where open and honest conversations can be had around all aspects of equality. Gemma is chair of the Womens Network within her workplace and works hard to ensure that all voices are heard and represented.

Emily Griffiths, Llansteffan

Emily suffered with pain and illness for many years and struggled to be taken seriously by GP’s and consultants. Emily was finally diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 21, a condition that takes over her life and means she cannot work. Emily now campaigns for more awareness around the condition, equality in healthcare and other settings and works hard to ensure there are more opportunities and support available in rural areas such as where she lives.

Sarah-Jayne Bray, Neath Port Talbot

Sarah-Jayne is the chair of the Gender Equality network at South Wales Police and exudes passion and determination to create positive change, to ensure that equality and diversity are at the forefront of her organisation. She has lead on many valuable projects and has achieved incredible change for her organisation and the teams within it as well as the wider police networks.

Lara Baldwin, Bargoed

Lara is a proactive and determined HR manager, keen to be the driving force in creating a positive, motivated, productive and diverse workforce. Recognising gaps and issues within her organisation in terms of diversity and highlighting the fact that the industry is extremely male dominated, Lara is working hard to build connections and encourage participation and support in all areas of her valuable work and mission.

Leader

This award celebrates women who are successfully leading by example. The winner will be someone who has not only been successful in her own right, but has used the opportunities provided by the position she has reached to support and mentor other women.

Tracy Jones, Denbigh

A Westend star, Tracy founded the Denbigh Workshop to use theatre and arts to develop the individual, their inter-reaction and contribution to community and enable individuals to fulfil their potential. Tracy encourages as well as educates and is an indefatigable fundraiser whose efforts result in opportunities for inclusion that would otherwise be denied to many within the community due to financial constraints. She brings a ‘can do’ attitude to all that she undertakes and makes others believe in themselves and achieve their ambitions whether that be in employment, theatre or in life.

Sian Morgan, Carmarthen

Siân Morgan is responsible for transforming lives, in communities across Wales, and in the organisation she leads, as Chief Executive of Hafan Cymru. With a passion for people and believing in what they can achieve she has transformed what was a struggling organisation, when she joined in 2016, to the vibrant and resilient organisation that Hafan Cymru is today. Instilling a culture of transparency and openness where staff views count, she enables the best service and protections for the clients they serve.

Louise Phillips, Swansea

Louise is proud to be a Welsh woman who has risen through the ranks at Virgin Atlantic by providing excellent customer service, and leadership to staff, to be become Vice President – Customer Centres. Authentic and motivated she is proven to get the best of people and large-scale teams by ensuring they realise their contribution is special. As a role model and mentor she empowers others to realise their potential.

Marion Davies, Cardiff

A chemical engineer with an extensive career, Marion is now Plant Director at ConvaTec in Rhymey – creating a programme of development and opportunities for the 110 staff she leads. As a true people person Marion has fostered a culture of openness, making herself accessible to all staff and driving forward improvements, which in turn sees the business is thriving and securing investment.

Learner

Lifelong learning benefits everyone. It has the power to change lives. Our Learner award celebrates those women who have re-entered learning and/or education to realise their full potential.

Rehnaz Khan, Cardiff

Rehnaz is a blind woman of Pakistani heritage, smashing stereotypes and changing perceptions of who can represent the fitness industry, having qualified as a Level 3 Personal Trainer this year. She is already working hard and spreading her passion and encouragement by running spin and strength classes which she wants to make sure are accessible to women from all backgrounds by leading by example.

Julie Edwards, Haverfordwest

Julie is a multiskilled people person who believes that everyone has something to give and that it’s never too late to learn. Having has spent 20 years working in administration, she completed Chwarae Teg’s Agile Nation 2 Career Development Programme at 63. She has since been promoted thanks to her talent for recognising the skill sets of others and forging an effective team. Julie has revolutionised her work life balance, which involves caring for parents and grandchildren.

Celsey Janes, Swansea

Celsey’s passion for her work and learning shines! She returned to learning after working on the ground for the cleaning arm of Thrive Group Wales during the pandemic. When offered a team leader role Celsely signed up for the Agile Nation 2 Career Development Programme and has not looked back. Despite lacking in confidence, her determination and commitment to learning now sees her, at the age of 23, leading a team of 24, continuing to learn, and supporting others to do the same.

Claire Laudan, Caernarfon

As a very balanced person with acute attention to detail, Claire was always told by her mother she’d make a great solicitor. However she left school at 16 and only returned to learning having been inspired by a woman speaker at a Chwarae Teg event. With a young family of three boys, and despite being told that becoming a solicitor would be too difficult given where she lived, her hard work and determination sees her now living her dream.

Rising Star

We want to celebrate the young women coming through in different roles and sectors who show great promise for the future. The winner of our Rising Star award will be a woman who has entered the workplace in the last 5 years, has already achieved success and has demonstrated real potential.

Nicole Hughes, Dyserth, Denbighshire

Working as a research and evaluation officer for Welsh Womens Aid, Nicole has had to overcome many barriers to get where she is today. She is always helping others who are entering the industry and looking for advice, and both her research and support of others has had a huge impact.

Emily Nicole Roberts, Swansea

As a woman with cerebral palsy, Emily often found it hard as a child to know how to dress, shower, get out of bed and carry out other daily tasks. Emily didn’t want other young people with disabilities to face the same struggles and so decided to create Youtube videos to inspire, educate and support others, as well as family and friends, in how to live life as a person with a disability. Emily also does a lot of charity work, writes blogs, works with Whizzkids and is an ambassador for Cerebral.

Casey Hopkins, Swansea

After wanting to study languages at university but not being able to, Casey opted for Computer Science. Being one of only 7 girls out of a class of 120, Casey worked hard to prove that this was a career path available to women. She now educates and encourages many women into the industry, having inspired many to consider it as an option and excel.

Lora Payne, Barry 

Lora left school at 16 with very little GCSE’s, fled an abusive relationship, became a single mum at 18 and got made redundant. Lora turned these initial barriers and hard situations into something positive, going back to university, working tirelessly and finally setting up her own business to allow her the flexibility she needed and to offer others the opportunities and working practices that Lora never had herself.

Woman in Health and Care

This award reflects the disproportionate impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on women – including women being twice as likely to be key workers. The award is for a woman who has set a shining example across any aspect of health or care, from medical and support staff to training and educational roles.

Sayma Ahmed, Cardiff

Resilient, strong willed and hard working, Sayma is a founding member of Muslim Doctors Cymru which has been tackling false myths around vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has an acute understanding of the real concerns and reservations that can be held by ethnic minority groups as well as many living in deprived areas. She uses this knowledge and her position as a trusted professional to break down cultural barriers and provide support to those who are often most in need.

Kelly Clewett, Prestatyn

Kelly decided to pursue a career in nursing having spent time in hospital herself, and coming to the realisation that she wanted to be part of a profession where she could directly impact people’s lives in a positive way. A dedicated and compassionate leader, Kelly now manages a team of 29 district nurses, health care support workers and admin staff who deliver nursing care in patients’ own homes. She is also the Community Resource Team Lead, supporting district nurses and social services to work closer together to deliver services within the community.

Dawn Garwood, Barry

Dawn trained to become a mental health dietitian at the age of 40, after working as a dental nurse since she was 16. Dawn is a bold, compassionate and passionate individual who is not afraid to challenge the norm, fight in your corner and stand beside you. Dawn believes her superpower is empathy and clearly connects with her patients, doing incredible work. She also supports her fellow colleagues and new students coming through by working as a mentor and always encouraging others.

Carol Davies, Torfaen

Carol is a dedicated lung cancer nurse whose desire to give patients and their families a voice, along with the best care possible. Described as someone who takes away sadness and gives hope, she sees the best in everyone and what they can become, whether they be a member of staff or someone who needs care. By addressing and leading on committees she speaks up for lung cancer patients to ensure they, and their families, receive the best possible treatment and support.

Woman in Sport

Our Women in Sport award recognises the contribution women make to sport in Wales. This could be as an athlete, coach or in another role in which they have raised the visibility or increased the impact of women’s sport in Wales.

Vera Ngosi-Sambrook, Cardiff

Vera was encouraged into cycling when she joined a new workplace in 2017 and hasn’t looked back. With the pandemic meaning group cycling was not allowed, she started to plan her own routes, took up long-distance cycling and started to share her experience on social media – becoming an influencer. She is actively engaged in the Women of Colour Cycling Collective and in 2021 she was awarded the Ultra Distance Scholarship aimed at increasing representation of Ethnic Minority communities in the Pan Celtic Race.

Lydia Clements, Cardiff

Lydia’s passion for cricket is infectious, and as a player for Wales Women’s First Team, Captain of the Women’s Team at Radyr and Manager and Coach of the Wales U13 girls’ squad she is an inspiring role model for cricketers of all ages and abilities. She has created a pathway for junior girls at the club by creating an encouraging environment alongside the best possible training, coaching and playing experience. This is all while she studies to qualify as a solicitor!

Emma Thompson, Cardiff

After being told that “girls don’t play football”, Emma was playing football in the park and was scouted by Cardiff City ladies at the age of 15. Since then, she has gone on to have an incredible career in sport and is inspiring other young girls to take up and continue playing football by coaching them, supporting them and acting as an inspiring role model.

Siwan Lillicrap, Swansea

At school age, Siwan didn’t know that a career in rugby could be a possibility for her, but through determination, talent, courage and hard work, Siwan is now a highly successful professional rugby player, who has captained the Welsh Womens rugby team and coaches/mentors younger players into the game too.

Woman in STEM

Our Women in STEM award celebrates the women who are building Wales through advancing in their own career journey and making a real difference to the STEM sectors in Wales. Our winner will be encouraging other women into these disciplines and supporting women to progress.

Paige Tynan, Wrexham

Paige was told by her science teacher in school that she would never make it and instead of studying science opted to study childcare instead, however after failing her english exam due to undiagnosed dyslexia, Paige smashed through her barriers and opted to study forensic science instead, she is now a highly skilled lecturer of bio sciences at the very university she studied at!

Tanya Jones, Gaerwen, Anglesey

Tanya is passionate about inspiring and educating people, young and old, into STEM careers in North Wales and beyond. Working as a mentor, events organiser, project officer and in many more roles, Tanya works tirelessly to empower, encourage and signpost others into a wide range of roles within the STEAM industry.

Katherine Axten, Cardiff

Deciding to study software engineering at university, slightly later in her career, Katherine boldly pushed through the judgement and inequalities she faced to become a highly skilled software engineer. She also encourages and inspires other women to take roles in the STEM industry and gives them the confidence to change careers later on in life by writing a blog about her experiences and including useful resources and advice.

Emma Yhnell, Cardiff

As a senior lecturer at Cardiff University and member of the British neuroscience association, Emma is making waves within her industry. She not only mentors and educates people of all ages on science and finding creative ways to get people interested in it, but is also working hard to improve the equality, diversity and inclusion within her sector, often having to stand up against criticism to fight for her beliefs.

FairPlay Employer Award

This award will celebrate our Chwarae Teg Employers on their journey to gender equality in their organizations. We will assess the distance traveled and the impact achieved.

Gwent Police

Gwent Police cover an area of 600 square miles, including the five local authority areas of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen. The organisation has a strong commitment to all the people living in its broad and diverse communities. This has seen the organisation thrive, as it values difference and encourages inclusivity – both within the organisation and through the service it provides.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is dedicated to meeting the different needs of a rich and diverse community, committed to being an employer that reflects all the people it serves. A top goal is to create a workforce in which all women are supported to be all they can, and are equally valued for their skills, expertise, resilience, knowledge, and contributions. The service has ‘stepped outside the box’, becoming a role model to other Fire and Rescue Services – sharing its good practice on a UK scale.

Open University

The Open University in Wales has students in every constituency of the nation with almost half from its most disadvantaged areas. A world leader in modern distance learning, the OU is a pioneer of teaching and learning methods which enable people to achieve their career and life goals studying at times and in places to suit them. The organisation is inclusive, innovative and responsive with a commitment to equality and equity embedded in all it does.

Charles River

Charles River is a global life science contract research organisation with a mission to create healthier lives – united by one purpose: Together We Create Healthier Lives. The business is committed to building a safe, inclusive and welcoming workplace. From the top there flows a culture which works to better understand and increase the diversity in its workforce, Board and leadership so that as a business Charles River can better represent its patients, clients and the communities in which it serves.

A big thank you to everyone who joined our judging panels this year…

Mencap are working with Chwarae Teg and supporting the Womenspire Awards over the next two years by sponsoring the Community Connector Award.

The award will highlight the incredible work being done by women with a learning disability in every part of Wales and raise awareness of those who are deserving of praise and recognition.

The Community Connector award aims to increase the confidence of women with a learning disability to nominate or be nominated. In turn, it’s hoped it encourages awards in general to become more accessible to women with a learning disability and that it leads to nurturing positivity and a sense of self belief that their stories are as inspirational as any other citizen of Wales.

Thank you to all our sponsors for your support, and your commitment to making Wales a gender equal nation.

Please click on a sponsor logo to hear why they support the work of Chwarae Teg.

Headline Sponsor:

Opel Vauxhal Finance

Award category sponsors:

Community Champion

Tiny Rebel

Community Connector Award

Mencap Cymru

Entrepreneur

Development Banc

FairPlay Employer

Hodge Bank

Gender Equality Champion

Leader

Learner

Rising Star

Target Group

Woman in Health and Care

NHS HEIW

Woman in Sport

Sport Wales

Woman in STEM

ABPI

Partner sponsors:

Sponsorship Opportunities

If your organisation is passionate about supporting professional development for women and you want to get your products and services right to the heart of a key demographic, becoming a sponsor for Womenspire is a great way to make an impact. To book your sponsorship opportunity or for further information contact womenspire@chwaraeteg.com or click below for the sponsor pack

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