A senior member of the Welsh Government set out to inspire a younger generation of women by sharing her experiences forging a career in housing and politics.
Hannah Blythyn AM, deputy minister for housing and local government, was headline speaker at WISH North Wales’ gathering in Wrexham earlier this month.
The event, which was held at the Moneypenny head office, was attended by over 50 of the independent networking organisation’s members and friends. They gathered under the banner of ‘a woman’s journey in housing’ and heard a range of presentations exploring this theme.
Blythyn offered an exclusive presentation about her personal career journey in housing and government, along with an insight into life working in politics. A proud North Walien, she shared her fascinating career story.
Members said they felt privileged to hear about the barriers she’s overcome and the challenges she continues to face. The minister also offered advice on how to challenge the ‘norm’ to make real positive changes.
“My Mum always told me: ‘You can either stamp your feet and say it’s not fair, or you can stand up and do something about it to make a change for the better’,” Blythyn said in her speech.
In a first for the organisation, the WISH North Wales board invited some of its members to share their own career journeys as a female in the housing sector.
First was 20-year old modern apprentice, Maya Waud from Cartrefi Conwy, who delivered a presentation on life as an apprentice so far. She talked about the people who inspire her, as well as giving her opinion on what the sector can do to encourage more young people to choose a career in housing.
Maya closed with setting a challenge to the audience; to do something to inspire one person over the next few weeks.
“I have had such a great experience speaking at the event, although I was naturally nervous, it was a fabulous experience,” she said.
Next before the audience was Jen Griffiths, benefits manager at Flintshire County Council. She gave an inspirational talk on her journey in housing and bravely shared some of the personal hurdles she has overcome during her career, giving advice to others who may experience the same.
Griffiths enthusiastically closed by encouraging everyone to be the very best version of themselves they can be. “Without commitment from people, things won’t happen, know your people. Be creative and always be the best you can be,” she said.
Nikki Waud, chair of WISH North Wales, said: “We’re so pleased with our continued success that is driving the growth of our network and supporting the housing sector here in North Wales. The ‘A Woman’s Journey in Housing’ event has proven once again that we are attracting brilliant speakers, such as Hannah Blythyn, who have so much to share for our members to take away. I’d like to thank Hannah for giving up her time to attend our event and for the inspiration she has provided for our members.
“We’re also proud, that for the first time, we have been able to present our members with the opportunity to ‘get into the spotlight’ and share their own thoughts, journeys and advice. This is a great example of females supporting each other in their careers, which is the true purpose of the WISH network.”
Rachel Clacher, founder of Moneypenny, also shared some heart-felt success stories of ‘We Mind the Gap’, a charity that offers six-month paid, full-time work and support programmes to young women, targeting those who face the greatest challenges.
Image Caption: Hannah Blythyn AM (centre), deputy minister for housing and local government was the headline speaker at A Woman’s Journey in Housing, held in Wrexham, North Wales.