International Women’s Day 2022: Believing in Others is Just as Important as Believing in Yourself

Written by Amanda Williams, Head of contract and Partnership Management

Following a maternity leave, I returned to work in 1994 by securing a temporary administrative job with a local training provider. My initial six-week contract quickly turned into 13 years, as I discovered my passion for inspiring and supporting individuals to believe in themselves, and to achieve their goals.

As a result of obtaining an NVQ in Team Leading, I was promoted to facilitate mainstream programmes, working with the unemployed to get back into work. A couple of years later, I was promoted to my first management role, as a Contracts Manager, where I won a National Training Award for my management of the Gateway to Work programme. I thrived as a manager, as I enjoyed identifying the potential in people, and finding inspirational leaders to positively impact the lives of learners.  My passion for management and inspiring others led me to another promotion, where I managed a team of 30+ staff as a Business Manager. My career seemed to be moving in a forward trajectory, and in 2011 I took on my next challenge of managing the Welsh Government’s Traineeships and Employability Skills programmes, where I managed teams and training centres throughout Southeast Wales, as well as taking on a small number of sub-contractors. Now at senior level, I needed to transition my management skills into strong leadership skills and undertook a Management to Leadership course.

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly, until suddenly I lost my husband in 2017, and was on bereavement leave for 7 weeks. This, as you can imagine, hit hard, and I needed to take time to recover and rebuild myself, as well as my two boys who were now in their twenties. On my return to work, I felt fully supported by my team, and inspired by the belief they had in me.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and in 2020 I further challenged myself by moving to a completely different contract within the business, managing the apprenticeships supply chain throughout Southeast, West, and Mid Wales. That initial 6-week administrative job has now turned into 28 years in the industry, and I’m just as passionate and dedicated to helping others achieve and be successful as I was at the beginning.

“Believing in others is just as important as believing in yourself.  A manager believed in me, which has enabled me to believe in others; to inspire and empower individuals to achieve their aspirations. Your full potential is unlimited, as each day you continue to grow and improve not just your own life but of those around you”. 

–  Amanda Williams, Head of contract and Partnership Management