The latest news from the Wales Cymru branch
The CIPFA Cymru-Wales branch has now been in place for six years, following the merger from parts of three different regions.
The new executive for 2017/2019 was elected at our AGM in March, and our aim is to support members and students with a relevant programme of local events, newsletters and mentoring network.
Public services continually deal with change, new partnerships and issues with level of funding. We rely on the support and commitment of members to help us keep abreast of developments, and there are many ways that you can get involved with CIPFA Cymru Wales:
- Tell us what you want and how well we meet your needs.
- Attend CPD events.
- CIPFA Champion - encourage colleagues and employers to engage with us.
- Host venues - for events across the whole of Wales.
- CIPFA Mentor - support students and new members.
- CIPFA Voice - help us develop CIPFA's policy and technical voice in Wales.
Our development plan includes delivering an interesting and varied CPD programme that is valued by members, working with employers to make CIPFA the qualification of choice and providing a supportive network for all members.
CIPFA Cymru Wales Annual Conference
On 23 November 2017, the CIPFA Cymru Wales Annual Conference was held in Cardiff. The conference provided its usual blend of inspiring plenary sessions, streamed optional workshops and an evening programme of entertainment including the inaugural CIPFA Wales Public Finance Awards.
CIPFA President Andrew Burns and CIPFA Cymru Wales President Rhian Evans at the CIPFA Cymru Wales Annual Conference, November 2017.
Inspiring tomorrow’s Women Leaders in Wales
Question: What do you get when you put four women directors in a room to talk about themselves?
Answer: A full-house CPD event from CIPFA Cymru-Wales, Inspiring Women into Leadership!
Wanting to do our bit to increase gender diversity at senior levels, CIPFA Cymru-Wales teamed up with Michael Page Finance to deliver a lunch and learn event to inspire our women members to reach for the stars. The event was also aimed at men, to aid understanding of some of the barriers and help in making the workplace a better place for all, regardless of gender or other characteristics.
We heard from Sarah Kirk, Page Group’s global director of diversity, about the importance of commitment from the top and the real commercial benefits from providing an inclusive, flexible working environment that promotes and retains female talent. The Women at Page programme has led to major cultural change, including total flexibility in working patterns for women and men in all roles at all levels of the Group, which has significantly built trust and retention across the business. The Group has won over 14 awards for its work on diversity.
PwC Partner Lynn Pamment told how life is not a level playing field for women so women must become comfortable in speaking for themselves. Selling yourself, not worrying about standing out, and getting good support networks are all essential components in developing your career. And, always be brave to call things out if they are wrong.
The National Assembly’s director of finance, Nia Morgan, joined the session directly from giving evidence to the Assembly’s Finance Committee. Her well-justified pride in working at the heart of decision making in Wales was evident. Nia encouraged us to see even the bad times as opportunities to learn and get better and to set personal goals for a sense of purpose and achievement.
Then, Ann-Marie Harkin, audit director at the Wales Audit Office, said how observing the behaviours of others can help you decide what sort of leader you want to be. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important, but don’t let your weaknesses put you off from going for the opportunities that will push your comfort zones.
The Q&A session that followed triggered these further golden nuggets of advice: stop beating yourself up about the things you haven’t had time to do; learn coping mechanisms to give permission to yourself to be equal; and, be authentic, regardless of gender.
This hugely successful event, with over 50 attendees from over 30 organisations, was open not only to CIPFA members, but also the WAO’s Women’s Network and other finance professionals. Our thanks to the Wales Audit Office for hosting.
Engaging with our student members
"The value of being CIPFA qualified must not be under-estimated and the executive in Wales is working hard to champion this.
"We will be consulting with students in Wales regarding what action will be of value to them. We want our students to understand that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that there are tangible benefits to being CIPFA qualified. We recognise that the current working environment is challenging and tough, and acknowledge the need to engage further and fully understand these challenges.
"We will be meeting with our students to discuss the benefits of being a member, to offer an independent view of career progression and self-development. We will hold these informal meetings during study time in college over a coffee or lunch, with the aim of engaging and supporting students, and look forward to meeting as many potential new members as possible."
– Rebecca Nelson, Vice-President of the CIPFA Cymru-Wales branch.