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Inspirational Women Interview - Jayne Stuart

Inspirational Women Interview - Jayne Stuart

Inspirational interview

 Name:- Jayne Stuart

Job title:- Director, WEA Scotland

Tell us a bit about your role:- 
As Director, I am responsible for formulating and implementing the overall strategy for WEA Scotland, an important component of which is drawing up and updating annually our three year rolling plan and agreeing outcomes in consultation with the WEA Scotland Committee. 

My responsibilities include WEA policy, legal compliance, heading WEA Scotland's internal structures and overall responsibility for the delivery and reporting of the WEA's adult education provision across Scotland.   Currently there are c.10,000 enrolments and an annual turnover of c£2.5m.   Income generation, often by competitive tender and bidding to funding bodies, is a crucial element of successful performance, requiring my hands-on involvement.   Achieving results is hugely dependent on retaining and nurturing the goodwill of our extensive network of stakeholders, including volunteers, practitioners and the student body spread widely throughout the country and operating successfully in both rural and urban settings.

I am also a contributing member of the WEA's senior management team led by the Chief Executive and with an appropriate, specific portfolio responsibility across the overall Association.

Relationship to W@W e.g. Advisory group member, Network work member:- W@W is a WEA Scotland project.

Hobby:- walking (especially in the Highlands), cooking (and eating good food), music and reading.

What would you tell your 16 year old self?  Be confident about following your dreams and don't let anyone hold you back.

What was your first Job?  Working at the local stables. I love horses, and as a teenager was passionate about riding. I worked from 8am till 6pm Saturdays and Sundays for £3 per day! All the money I earned went into horses - I think the stable owner got a pretty good deal.

What Woman/Women have inspired you?   In my work and personal life I have met so many amazing women who are absolutely inspiring. Often they are women who are working hard, achieving amazing things, and juggling family and home responsibilities.  Sometimes they are addressing difficulties and overcoming personal challenges. What strikes me is with all that going on, they still manage to be caring, kind, compassionate and committed - genuine unsung heroines!

What one change do you believe would make the biggest difference to the life of women?   Achieving full gender equality in the workplace would make an enormous difference for women. In particular I think women could be empowered by achieving parity of earned income and increased financial independence, as well as rebalancing parental / maternal rights.

Who would be your ideal dinner guests?   Hilary Devey - I loved her recent 'Women at the Top' programme, Sarah Brown - I really admire her charity campaigning work for women's education, Kevin McKidd - Elgin man now Hollywood star and supporting Speyside Sessions folk charity album, Daniel Craig as Bond and Andrew Marr as the real intellect. With me that would make 3 men and 3 women - gender balanced for the perfect dinner party.

What is the best advice you have been given? Face difficult things today - don't put them off, they just get worse.

Favourite holiday spot? Scottish Highlands or French Alps - depending on time of year and whether its midge season. 

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