WEN Mentoring: ‘My life has been transformed’
December 2020 saw the end of the third run of the WEN Mentoring Scheme. Thirty diverse women from across Wales were matched with women in political and public life as their mentors. Mentees participated in a series of workshops to inform and empower them to stand for the upcoming 2021 parliamentary elections, public boards, school governors, trustee positions, and new roles in line with their aspirations.
“I’ve loved every element of the scheme, it’s been such a joy and given me so much more than I ever expected. I feel I’ve learned so much about myself, but more importantly about others and the barriers facing so many women. I feel far more confident about affecting change, in an inclusive way. It’s changed my mindset and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had.”
Despite the adversity faced by participants during a difficult year, we are absolutely delighted with the feedback received and the achievements of our Mentees. See below for a taste of this feedback and the outcomes of the scheme.
2020 Mentoring scheme feedback
“2020 has been a really difficult year for so many people, and I was really fortunate to have this newfound network of people who were really diverse, really capable women, supporting one another. Having a safe space to do that was invaluable.”
“I could never have imagined that in the time of Covid, in the time of lockdown, that my life could have expanded so much…and that we could have made connections which are probably there for life, even though we have never met because the scheme started in lockdown and ended in lockdown! I think that’s a real tribute to WEN, that they managed to work out how to deliver a scheme which is so personal in many ways.”
“The benefits have been enormous, and I can genuinely say that my life has been transformed. I went from really having a sense of being disconnected from the place I live in, to now being a school governor, a town councillor, and I’m standing for election in the upcoming Senedd elections [May 2021]. None of this could have happened without the WEN mentoring scheme.”
“I’d really encourage people to apply for the mentoring programme, it gives you access to a wealth of knowledge, a wealth of support, and a wealth of guidance. I would especially encourage women of colour to go for this programme, I think that we need more representation, we need more insight from the way that society shapes our lives, and we need to bring it to the forefront of public and political life. Apply for the programme, you will not regret it.”