Joel James MS has welcomed Ajaya Emmett into the Senedd as part of the LeadHerShip programme which gives women aged between 16-25 the opportunity to shadow senior leaders in Wales and learn what life is like as a decision maker within Welsh Politics and the world of business.
Despite progress in recent years women continue to be under-represented in positions of power and leadership in Government, Business, and public life. This picture is even worse for BAME women, LGBTQ+ women, disabled women, and women who experience additional barriers in obtaining these positions.
The LeadHerShip programme aims to ensure that women are given the opportunity to become better represented in such decision-making roles and ensure that women obtain a platform so that their voices are heard, and they become inspired to see themselves as future leaders.
LeadHerShip began in the National Assembly in 2017 around International Women’s Day, and gave young women the opportunity to shadow their local Assembly Member for a day. Participants got one-to-one time with AMs, unique insight into their day-to-day lives as well as a better understanding of the National Assembly.
Since then, the programme has grown, offering women one-day shadowing opportunities at the Senedd, within Local Government and with businesses. Participants spend the day with inspiring role models learning about the challenges they face and mechanisms of introducing legislation within the Senedd.
Joel James MS said: “ It was fantastic to meet Ajaya and provide an opportunity for her to learn about the Senedd. Getting elected to office is a particularly difficult road to take because of the challenges of getting yourself heard against the backdrop of many competing voices. Many women are presented with additional challenges and I believe that we should encourage women to become involved as much as possible.”
Cerys Furlong, Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg, said: “LeadHerShip Senedd gives young women the chance to shadow Members of the Senedd and discover the inner workings of Welsh political life with the aim of inspiring a future generation of women leaders.
“I’m therefore incredible grateful to all the MSs who took part in the day. Their support is invaluable in improving young women’s engagement with politics, which is key to increasing representation. Although it’s fairly well balanced at the Senedd, there is still a clear under-representation of diverse women so we must work to ensure that all women in future are empowered to seek leadership roles across public life.”