PRESS RELEASE 21.06.2017 11pm

A carpenter, student midwife, Gym Manager, Chief Inspector, former Head Teacher, BBC Producer are just some of the most inspiring women in Wales.

Winners of this year’s Womenspire Awards organised by Wales’ leading equality charity Chwarae Teg.

Wales’ most inspiring women have been recognised at the annual Womenspire Awards sponsored by CGI were held at the Wales Millennium Centre last night (21 June). 400 guests attended this prestigious event, which celebrated the personal and professional achievements of women across Wales.

Chwarae Teg received over 300 nominations across the 12 categories recognising the extraordinary achievements many individuals and organisations have made in leading equality in their industry such as business, arts, sports, STEM, rural and education.

The winners came from across all Wales, different ages all with their own inspirational stories.

One of the youngest women, Rising Star Award winner Chelbie Jones knows the challenges and perceptions of working in a male industry. She could have been a hairdresser like her mum but Chelbie, from Pembroke is now a carpenter and Bouygues UK and through her role has been promoting women in her industry at talks and career fairs.

Winner of Learner of the Year, Student Midwife Sian Preddy had incredible determination to achieve her desired dream of training to be a midwife. Sian Preddy from Bridgend was told by a careers officer that she would not be suitable as a nurse as she was ‘too deaf.’ Several years later through determination she returned to learning to do her CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education and is now a Student Midwife.

Merthyr Gym Manager, Sarah Draper was the winner of the Game Changer Award, recognised for inspiriting and supporting people in her community. Sarah organises a number of running clubs and events in Merthyr and in 2016 she set up the group, Merthyr Girls Can which enabled women to discover fitness and to improve not only their lives in terms of health and wellbeing but also cascading this knowledge and improving the lives of their friends and families.

Project Officer for Cardiff People First. Dawn Gullis won the Community Activist Award and is regarded as an advocate for women with learning difficulties. Her work has potentially saved lives and ensured that women are able to access the right support for their health needs.

As well as recognising women in the community the Womenspire Awards recognised the role of women in Business and industry. SA Flyers Director Gemma Richards won Women in Business/Enterprise Award recognised as a powerhouse in industry.

Leader of the Year went to Dyfed Powys Police Inspector, Nicola Cater who has worked in the police force for over 20 years. She has made changes at the force to ensure that women no longer have to face the challenges she did and is encouraging the benefits of diversity and harnessing these skills for a better police force.

Project Administrator for Menai Science Park, Emily is currently working on an Economic Development project in a rural village on Anglesey Emily Roberts from Bangor, won Women in Rural for her passion and influence across her organisation and the community as an advocate for diversity in rural enterprise and the sciences.

The winner of Women in Education Award went to former head teacher and now Safeguarding, Well-being and Healthy Relationships Consultant, Siriol Burford, who was recognised for her impact on the lives of all children in Wales. By working with schools she is ensuring that children grow up knowing the importance of gender equality in Wales for a brighter future.

Swansea University Professor, Hilary Lappin Scott won Women in STEM for her impact on gender diversity in STEM in Wales. Passionate about her work, she has changed perceptions and been a figure of influence across generations. Hilary is a microbiologist and a leading woman in UK universities, holding key leadership positions within learned scientific societies. She has worked tirelessly to inspire, support and encourage women in science at all levels locally, nationally and internationally. She was elected as the second female President (in 60 years) of the Society for General Microbiology.

Executive Producer at BBC Wales, Samantha Rosie was awarded Women in Creative Industry after her achievements as a pioneer. She’s worked with Tom Jones, Neil Kinnock and for over a decade made the award winning ‘Hospital’ series for BBC Wales. Her work to ensure that women are supported not just internally but are represented on screen shows her true passion for ensuring women are reaching their full potential.

In addition to celebrating the incredible achievements of these inspiring women, Womenspire also celebrating Man of the Year and Employer of the Year, which recognises the contribution that men and employers make to achieving a more gender balanced society in Wales.

Man of the Year went to Prof Paul Chaney from Cardiff University was recognised as a true advocate for gender equality through his writing and policy influence, which has had an impact on the lives of women in Wales and beyond.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water won Employer of the Year after taking steps right across the business to ensure that they attract, retain and progress women in the organisation.

Chwarae Teg Chief Executive, Cerys Furlong said, “As Wales’ leading charity for equality we wanted to really celebrate the achievement stories of women, organisations and men who are inspiring and championing fair play and equality in the workplace. Tonight’s event is really special as we bring so many wonderful people together to hear their personal and professional journeys on how they are making a difference in equality.”

The full list of winners is available at

END For further information, images and interviews please contact Suzanne Carter / 07885977044.

Notes to editor:

This list of finalists is embargoed until 19.05.2017 9am. Please share the posts on social media from Chwarae Teg @chwaraeteg