Why have a Women in Public Life Portal?There are much fewer women than men in public life and, as a result, their voices are not being heard.
This is especially true of women who have disabilities, come from ethnic minorities, younger or older women, and women from rural areas.
There needs to be more equality in public appointments to ensure that the people in our corridors of power reflect the breadth of society. Why? Because people make decisions based on their own experiences and if those who make the decisions come from a narrow part of society, the majority and breadth of public views will be overlooked.
In 2012 Rosemary hosted a series of seminars on the theme of Women in Public Life. Starting from an examination of the barriers to increasing women's representation, outlined in the "Who runs Wales" report produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, panels of influential women from different sectors were engaged in discussions looking at the barriers to women's participation in public life.
The first seminar was held in the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay on 8 March as part of the programme of events organised to mark International Women's Day 2012.
Key findings from the individual seminars informed the content for a national conference where panels of experts and guest speakers offered practical solutions for enhancing the representation of women in public life. The outcomes of the conference mandated the Presiding Officer to write to Party Leaders asking their parties to consider steps to ensure more women are putting themselves up for election in 2016. The Presiding Officer has also launched a series of lectures profiling eminent role models in traditionally male-dominated spheres; this web portal which will contain details of public appointments in Wales as well as opportunities for appropriate training; and a mentoring scheme aimed at women that will provide intensive personal development and skills training; one to one mentoring support; and role shadowing opportunities at the highest levels to motivate and encourage a number of participants across Wales to be able to successfully apply for public appointments at all levels locally, regionally and nationally.
So, what is public life all about?
View this video to find out what motivated the Presiding Officer to undertake this project and encourage more women to take the step into public life...
This portal offers a range of ways to learn more about public life as well as get involved...
You can also follow us on Twitter @WomenofWales @MenywodCymru or use #POWiPL to tweet on the issues that matter to women in Wales.