The Women Employability Network (WEN) is a newly-established project which aims to equip local women with employability and self-employability skills. Developed by Eileen Hutchinson and piloted in Stevenage, WEN is providing a mixture of training and mentoring sessions to enable women to develop themselves so they feel confident and resourceful to pursue their dreams. Over 25 women have taken part in the pilot programme, nine of whom, of varying backgrounds, have participated in this course, each having joined WEN for different reasons.
Over a number of weeks, the women attended training sessions which covered a range of topics such as career profiling, analysing strengths and weaknesses, introduction to interview and presentation skills, and creative thinking. The training sessions have also developed the women’s confidence, self-esteem and their ability to work well with others. Forming part of the project, a mentoring scheme has been put in place to support the women and further their development, with many of the ladies mentoring one another.
Already, the WEN project has been a tremendous success with the ladies, bringing about positive changes in their lives, with at least two of the ladies being offered new jobs where previously they had had little success.
As part of WEN, the next phase will be to hold seven themed monthly forums, which will provide practical support to enable the women to take the next steps required to achieve their individual goals. The monthly forums, starting in January, will include topics such as networking, dress and colour coordination, starting up a new business and working in various sectors. Each forum will be hosted by the ladies who attended the WEN course.
Guest speakers at the various forums will include Councillor Sharon Taylor, Debbie Akehurst, Katrina Kozuch, Ilse Leenders, Adriana Lokman, Kate Belinis, Sara Burgess and Karen Griffiths. The first WEN forum will be held in January. Each subsequent forum meeting will be held on the evening of the fourth Wednesday of each month at InTown Training, Stevenage. If you would like to attend these meetings, please contact us for further details.