Women’s Equality Network Wales, Stonewall Cymru, Disability Wales and Ethnic Minorities & Youth Support Team Wales are pleased to announce the opening of Equal Power Equal Voice, a mentoring programme aiming to increase diversity of representation in public and political life in Wales, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and Welsh Government.

Would you like to get more involved in public or political life and have an impact on the decisions that affect you, your communities and our society? Are you fed up with not being represented, with few people like you in the Senedd or your local council?  Is there an issue that you feel passionate about or have ideas for change on?

Our vision is to see more Black, Asian and ethnic minority people, women, LGBTQ+ people and disabled people in decision making positions in Wales including public boards (such as Arts Council Wales or Sport Wales), health boards, elected positions in local government and UK or Welsh Parliament, charity trustees, school governors, and as community activists.

We are recruiting the first round of mentees for this ground-breaking cross-equalities mentoring programme!

What does the Equal Power Equal Voice mentoring scheme involve?

The scheme will run from November 2021 to June 2022 and will include:

  • 1-1 mentoring with highly influential people including Members of the Senedd, members of public boards, and senior leaders from the public and voluntary sectors.
  • Bespoke training sessions on political influencing, public speaking, and campaigning such as:
    • how to be a political candidate
    • how to be an effective board member
    • how to campaign for social change.
  • A trip to UK Houses of Parliament (virtual or in-person).
  • A peer-to-peer support network with other programme participants.

Who should apply?

  • We welcome applications from any person who is aged 18+, living in Wales, who is:
    • a Black, Asian or ethnic minority person
    • a person from the LGBTQ+ community
    • a disabled person
    • a woman
    • or any combination of any of those identities.
  • AND ALSO has a clear interest in increasing their impact in public or political life and a commitment to their own development.
  • Applicants will be notified of results in early October 2021.

What is expected of participants?

  • Commit to meeting with your mentor for one hour once every 4-6 weeks (whether via phone, video or in person).
  • Attend mandatory monthly online training events (time commitment is 6 hours per month from November 2021-June 2022).
  • Participate in some of the optional networking and skill building opportunities.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-to-one, non-judgemental relationship, usually over a set period of time in which an individual voluntarily gives time to support and encourage another. It is a two-way relationship based on respect and reflection.   A mentee will set goals to work towards.  Then, ideally, a mentor can share advice, guidance, and practical support to the mentee to enable the mentee to gain skills, knowledge and confidence; to perform at a higher level; and to build networks.

What are the potential benefits of being a mentee in the Equal Power Equal Voice Programme?

Likely benefits will include:

  • Increased confidence in your own capacity to make change and finding your voice
  • Increased knowledge of how decisions get made in Wales and how to influence those decisions
  • Increased understanding of different levels of government (local, Senedd, Westminster)
  • Increased knowledge of important policy matters in Wales
  • Improved public speaking and communication skills
  • Meeting and speaking with highly influential people
  • Widening and deepening your networks.

This programme builds upon previous successful WEN Wales and EYST public life mentoring programmes.  Previous mentees have gained positions as councillors and MPs, been appointed to public boards such as Careers Wales and Arts Council of Wales, and many have become school governors and charity trustees.

Apply by any of the following methods by 11:59pm on 26th September 2021:

Easy Read information about Equal Power Equal Voice.

If you would like to have a chat about the programme or the application process, contact any of the team: