Success Stories

Since our inception in 2005 Women Making a Difference have trained over 700 women across Wales, empowering them with the skills, ability and confidence to succeed.

We believe it is important to share some of the success stories to encourage other women to achieve their potential. On these pages you will find a series of real women's stories on how they overcame their barriers and achieved the goals that they set for themselves.

All of these women have taken part in the Women Making a Difference training programme.

Gloria Tanner

It is not surprising that Gloria went onto great success after her WMAD training. She is someone who is very strong-minded and despite working in roles within the trade union, she never felt the environment was different for her as a woman. Having already found her voice, Engendering Change was able to help her hone and perfect the skills she already encompassed as well as building back her confidence after retirement.

She feels very strongly about education within the political world.
“Many younger people today don’t have any faith in politics; the unemployed who usually come from the working class areas, children who are worse off, they tend to be not interested in politics because they don’t realise how important it is in their lives and that’s because of a lack of education I think.”

Whilst her trade union background meant that Gloria always had an interest in politics, she never felt ready to take the next step and retirement compounded this lack of confidence. 

“There aren’t many opportunities for women my age, it seems that once you reach 60 and retire, you’ve got nothing else to contribute and you can’t play a role in society.”

“Engendering Change was the only opportunity I found in terms of education and as soon as I saw it, I applied to go on it. I had been retired since 2007, so a lot of my confidence had gone; Engendering Change was like a refresher course for me”
Gloria adds that all of the courses she had previously been on were with trade unionists, that Engendering Change was her first experience of learning with diverse people – different skills, problems, ideas. She says that it was a great benefit that the course had a diverse group, with plenty of ethnicities involved where all participants could learn about different cultures, views, and attitudes.

“The course reinforced my confidence, that I had the ability to carry on representing people, speaking for people and being the voice for people. Through politics I could possibly influence policy making that would affect people in my area.”

Gloria role-shadowed Mike Hedges AM as part of her WMAD training.  It was this opportunity which convinced Gloria that she had the ability to become a Councillor herself.

Gloria’s husband was very supportive of her decision to stand for County Council election, but some others in her family were more cynical – laughing and suggesting that she was too old to do so in her 60’s.  She was selected via an all-women shortlist and believes that if this wasn’t the case then a man would have been chosen.

Gloria left school at 15, was married by 20 and a mother by 21, which is why she now thinks that education is really important, “what WMAD does should be more widely available.”  She would recommend other women to take up the courses and that whilst there are barriers for many women, there is help and support out there to overcome them.  The Engendering Change course was life changing for her and she is a big promoter of courses that can be beneficial to others.

“I know there are more women MPs, women in decision making positions, women in senior management…there has been progress but there is still a long way to go.  I’m grateful for the education I’ve had that enabled me to represent other people in my community.”
Welsh Government            newassembly

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