Celebrating IWD! Inspirational Women of WGU & their stories #6

Last month, we celebrated International Women’s Day which gave recognition to the strong women we have here at Wrexham Glyndŵr University and their inspirational stories.

This blog series will feature these incredible role models and hopefully empower more women out there to #PressForProgress in 2018 and beyond!

Here’s Professor Maria Hinfelaar’s story:

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Professor Maria Hinfelaar
Vice-Chancellor, Wrexham Glyndwr University

‘My greatest personal achievement is contributing to education across three countries during my career: The Netherlands, Ireland and Wales. I have seen so many cohorts of students come through and do wonderful things once they graduate – including plenty of successful women.

Some examples…. A graduate from Limerick Institute of Technology, Joy Neville, who later become our Rugby Development Officer (for the men’s and women’s teams) and who is now a fully accredited international rugby referee and made history recently when she officiated at an international match in Belfast.

Another example: Chantal Roos, a business graduate from Stenden University (Netherlands) who is now the manager of a huge DIY store.

Here at WGU, we have some incredible stories such as Samantha Harris, a graduate in Game and Interactive Media Design, who now runs her own business.

All these fantastic women will have experienced road-blocks along the way but they achieved their ambitions. That is what we are celebrating today on International Women’s Day. It is the stories about our alumni that inspire and drive me to do my job as the head of the institution.

Never underestimate what you are capable of – step outside your comfort zone! Get on your bike!’

If you enjoyed this story, please keep checking in @zoneglyndwr for more in the series!

Come and visit us in the Zone Enterprise Hub at Wrexham Glyndŵr University for tailored business start-up advice and guidance. Contact us via telephone: 01978 293297.

Keep up to date with the latest news and events via our Twitter page: @zoneglyndwr

#BeTheSpark

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Celebrating IWD! Inspirational Women of WGU & their stories #5

This blog series will feature the stories we collected and hopefully empower more women out there to be bold and make a change!

Wrexham Glyndŵr University held an International Women’s Day campaign last month. As well as giving away #PressForProgress goody bags and yummy cakes, we collected stories from some inspirational role models in celebration of women.

Here’s Lesley’s story:

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Lesley Griffiths, Assembly Member for Wrexham

‘In my role as Assembly Member for Wrexham and in all of my ministerial roles, I have ensured women’s voices are heard. For example, in my current role I work with women in the agriculture sector, making sure they are part of the decision making process.

 

Having been a member of the Welsh Government for eight years, I am proud of the legislation I have developed including the Human Transplantation Act, Food Hygiene Ratings Act, Housing Act and Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act.

 

In Wrexham I have ensured I have been involved in many local organisations as Patron and in an enabling role, such as Welsh Women’s Aid. I have also visited all schools, FE College’s and the University in Wrexham to make sure children and young people understand the democratic process and the importance and relevance of politics in their lives.

 
International Women’s Day means a celebration of all that women have achieved, empowering young women like my two daughters and making sure women know and understand they are capable of undertaking any role or job, whilst also recognising the many barriers and obstacles many women still face.’

 

If you enjoyed this story, please keep checking in @zoneglyndwr for more in the series!

Come and visit us in the Zone Enterprise Hub at Wrexham Glyndŵr University for tailored business start-up advice and guidance. Contact us via telephone: 01978 293297.

Keep up to date with the latest news and events via our Twitter page: @zoneglyndwr
#BeTheSpark

 

 

 

Celebrating IWD! Inspirational Women of WGU & their stories #4

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa

These were wise words once said by Mother Teresa, but we also have plenty of wisdom coming out of our stories that we collected in celebration of International Women’s Day this year.

This blog series will feature these incredible role models and hopefully empower more women out there to #PressForProgress in 2018 and beyond…

Here’s Iolanda’s story:

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Iolanda Banu Viegas, Founder of CLPW (Comunidade de Lingua Portuguesa de Wrexham)

Iolanda has been the Chair Person and founder of CLPW (Comunidade de Lingua Portuguesa de Wrexham) since 2013 and she has been the 3rd sector partnership council representative for North Wales in RCC (Race Council Cymru) since 2015, and Chair of Black History Month North Wales.

Iolanda Banu Viegas is 44 years old, Portuguese and born in Mozambique she now lives in Wrexham, North Wales. Iolanda has overcome the challenge of settling into a foreign country and managing a second language.

She is dedicated to providing assistance not only to the Portuguese language community in her now home town of Wrexham but to other language and ethnic minority communities in and around the area. The result of this in Wrexham is the acceptance of the Portuguese community into Wrexham’s communities and their positive and inspiring integration.

Ioland is also an elected councillor for the Portuguese Comunities within the UK and Ireland.

A social campaigner and multicultural event’s organiser, such as Anti Hate Crime Week, Black History Month, International Women’s Day, World Peace Day, Fado, Blas Portugal, One Billion Rising against Exploitation of Women and young girls. Iolanda has championed the recently new formerly Portuguese and Welsh group Amigos Y Cymmuned performed at the International Music Festival in Llangollen last July!

A multiple award winner, she was nominated as a Community Champion, on International Women’s Day in 2016, Highly Commended Awards include Volunteer of the Year 2013 and 2017 for WCVA, Social Entrepeneur of the Year (presented by The President of Portugal), Residents Award and CLPW CIC Community Group of the Year (Caia Park and Hightown Communities First). Enrico Stennet Awards for working to continue the struggle against Racism and Hate Crime, BHM Awards for contribuitions to Racial Cohesion in Wales and for Contributions to Black History Wales as a Founding Member, Outstanding Black Women Community Awards 2015…and many more… 

 

If you enjoyed this story, please keep checking in @zoneglyndwr for more in the series!
Come and visit us in the Zone Enterprise Hub at Wrexham Glyndŵr University for tailored business start-up advice and guidance.

Contact us via telephone: 01978 293297

Keep up to date with the latest news and events via our Twitter page: @zoneglyndwr
#BeTheSpark

 

 

Celebrating IWD! Inspirational Women of WGU & their stories #3

International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8th, which recognised the ambitious women we have studying and working at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.

The stories we have collected from these women provide motivation to anyone in need of a final push to reach their goals.

This blog series will feature these incredible role models and hopefully empower more women out there to #PressForProgress in 2018 and beyond!

Here’s Diane’s story:

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Diane Aplin, Foundation Director – Moneypenny’s Mind the Gap

 

‘I qualified as a Solicitor in the early 1990s and was one of the first years where over 51% of graduates from Law School were women. However, my early years in practice showed that ratio did not translate to the top of my profession and female leaders were in the minority. But then in the early 1990s female lawyers could not wear trousers in court…it seems a lifetime away.

Lucky to have female mentors and great role models I become a partner myself in 1999. That allowed me to focus on the work I loved: being an advocate for those less fortunate than me at a time of crisis in their lives. Often, I worked with women and often I was asked by my partners to take on a “sensitive case” but learning to be more than just the legal expert helped me become an all-round better person and as a result a better lawyer.

My experiences led to a conversation in January 2014 with Rachel Clacher, the inspirational co-founder of Moneypenny. Wanting to find out what would happen if she offered the type of support she gave her employees to young women who wouldn’t have the confidence to walk up to our office door, she asked would I work with her to find out the answer. Assuming the mantra “say yes to an opportunity and work out how later” I agreed to join her!

Four years on we are now a charity in our right, WeMindTheGap, and have successfully run 6 traineeships designed specifically for those young women. The six month paid traineeship is a unique opportunity to develop skills, enjoy new experiences, broaden horizons, build friendships, grow confidence, discover talents, grow ambition and discover the power of having choices in life and work. Essentially, we fill the gaps in our trainees’ lives with things that most of us take for granted – security, welfare, role models, experiences, skills, confidence and importantly love and care. And it works. Seven out of ten of our graduate trainees move into full-time work or education.

But this is a team effort and we pride ourselves on building a community around our young trainees, with support from local employers, allies and volunteers. And I am very proud of our success.

Now delivering the traineeships outside of Wrexham our vision is a world in which every young woman has the maturity, aspirations, confidence, independence and skills to have real choices in life and work.

That there remains the need for organisations like WeMindTheGap is a timely reminder of why we celebrate International Women’s Day. We have come far but there are still disadvantages purely by virtue of gender. By recognising those struggles we raise awareness and open debate. And for me I can discuss those issues with my sons – who are my greatest personal achievement!

It is a privilege to work with our young women and see them grow, and I get a thrill when I hear of a promotion, of a driving test passed, a first foreign holiday. Gaps are being filled and our graduates have choices.’

 

If you enjoyed this story, please keep checking in @zoneglyndwr for more in the series!
Come and visit us in the Zone Enterprise Hub at Wrexham Glyndŵr University for tailored business start-up advice and guidance.

Contact us via telephone: 01978 293297

Keep up to date with the latest news and events via our Twitter page: @zoneglyndwr
#BeTheSpark

Celebrating IWD! Inspirational Women of WGU & their stories #2

Last month, we celebrated International Women’s Day which gave recognition to the strong women we have here at Wrexham Glyndŵr University and their inspirational stories.

This blog series will feature these incredible role models and hopefully empower more women out there to #PressForProgress in 2018 and beyond!

Here’s Professor Claire Taylor’s story:

proffessorclairetaylor

Professor Claire Taylor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Wrexham Glyndŵr University

 

‘Success is only possible with the support of others. Throughout my career I have been fortunate to be able to work collaboratively with a range of colleagues, both women and men, who have generously provided opportunities for me to learn alongside them at pivotal points in my career journey. Because of their generosity I have promised myself that I will always give what I can to support the success of others, particularly women. Currently I mentor several women at a range of UK universities to support them in achieving their career goals. Sometimes a listening ear is all that is needed. At other times, I am able to give more specific advice and even challenge their thinking.

‘ act decisively and with courage when needed, but within a framework of care and always, always with a hopeful and optimistic attitude.’

As an educator and a leader, I am driven by a deep sense of purpose and an unshakeable belief in key values and principles, rooted and anchored in my Christian faith. I act decisively and with courage when needed, but within a framework of care and always, always with a hopeful and optimistic attitude. And remember… no one is perfect! I do my best, but can only achieve what I do with the support of colleagues, friends and family. Most of all, I hope that I act as an excellent role model for my own daughters, aged 22 and 24; they are probably my greatest fans and sharpest critics!

International Women’s Day is about women and men working together to: celebrate women’s achievements; challenge entrenched thinking in relation to women’s roles in society; and move even closer to seeing global gender equality. In a nutshell, working together to see fair treatment for all worldwide.’

If you enjoyed this story, please keep checking in @zoneglyndwr for more in the series!
Come and visit us in the Zone Enterprise Hub at Wrexham Glyndŵr University for tailored business start-up advice and guidance.

Contact us via telephone: 01978 293297

Keep up to date with the latest news and events via our Twitter page: @zoneglyndwr
#BeTheSpark