Women of all ages and backgrounds gathered at Barry’s Art Central Gallery to mark International Women’s Day.
The Mayor of The Vale of Glamorgan, Cllr Janice Charles opened the event by welcoming the key speakers as well as the attendees, which included sixth form students from Stanwell School, WI members and Councillors.
The first speaker was Chief Inspector Lisa Gore of the Chair of the South Wales Police Female Police Association, who shared a presentation showing female representatives in the police force from 1915 – 2017.
Chief Inspector Lisa Gore, said: “When I first joined the force, women were issued with skirts and trousers, but most of us wore trousers. I was given a handbag when I first joined, but I have never used it.
“In the Female Police Association, we lobby for change, and help female officers who approach us with any issues.”
June Milligan, Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Chair of its Wales Committee, talked about her roles in public service, including as a Diplomat representing the UK to the European institutions in Brussels.
She said: “I stand here as a woman, if my daughter was standing here, she would stand here as a gay woman and if my mother was standing here, she would be here as an elderly woman. We are all women, we are here today to celebrate and think about what it is to be in a fair society.
“It is us who need to change the world, do not let the world change you.”
Rev Rosemary Hill, Assistant Curate of the Parish of Penarth and Llandough, was the third speakers who talked about her own journey into the church ministry, as a member of the LGBT community and a lone parent.
Rev. Hill said: “’I stand here in a dog collar, in a position that traditionally, was meant for men. Women can be deacons, priests and bishops; however there is still work to be done.”
The last speaker was Melanie Constantinou, a Llantwit Major based award winning businesswoman, offered networking advice and talked about her experiences of being a mother and a businesswoman.
Kate Beeslee, 16, a sixth form student from Stanwell School who was invited to the event, said: “I think it was so great to hear from the inspirational women, and what they had experienced, particularly in terms of the workplace, and about the work that still needs to be done. It’s a great day to celebrate.”