On International Women’s Day, the Minister for European Transition Jeremy Miles has announced an additional £6 million investment to improve gender equality in workplaces all over Wales.
The Agile Nation 2 project, delivered by Chwarae Teg and funded through the ESF, has supported 3,498 women and worked with 695 employers so far to promote female career advancement and help reduce the gender pay-gap.
The project, which will now be extended until 2023, supports women in work to develop their careers by delivering accredited leadership qualifications and mentoring, and supports businesses to implement equality strategies and modern working practices.
Counsel General and Minister for European Transition, Jeremy Miles said:
“We are proud of our record of investing in skills to improve people’s prospects of career progression and higher earnings, as well as promoting equality of opportunity in the workplace, and we want to continue this work.
“Last month I launched our own proposals for how we could utilise any replacement regional investment funding, which would focus on reducing inequalities and improving our business productivity.
“We have a real opportunity to build on work with our partners, and raise prosperity in every part of Wales through ongoing regional investment where funding decisions are made by the Welsh Government, not Westminster. And we must grasp this opportunity with both hands.”
Jane Hutt, Minister with responsibility for equalities, said:
“I’m delighted these additional funds have been provided to enable the Agile Nation 2 project to continue to help promote gender equality, focusing on nine key parts within the Welsh economy.
“We're really keen to build on the success of previous projects to help more women into leadership roles, and employers to make the most of women's skills. This week we will launch our own plan to advance gender equality in Wales, which challenges us to show leadership and implement long-term change. The Welsh Government is determined to meet this challenge.”
Chwarae Teg Chief Executive, Cerys Furlong, said:
“Chwarae Teg is pleased to be able to continue delivering our ESF funded Agile Nation 2 programme in West Wales and the Valleys. There is no doubt that the programme to date has delivered significant value to the Welsh economy hundreds of businesses supported, and thousands of women, across Wales, who have achieved pay rises totalling over £3 million to date.
“The businesses we have worked with have told us that they are now more productive and have improved staff recruitment and retention, and the women that we have worked with have reported increased skills and confidence which has enabled them to progress in their careers. We look forward to working with more women and businesses in West Wales and the Valleys over the next 3 years, enabling women to achieve and prosper in the Welsh economy.”