We’re proud to be hosting the inaugural Women in Mountain Training conference this October, as an important part of both Plas y Brenin and Mountain Training’s commitment to gender equality strategy to develop women in adventure activity leadership.

While the gender balance in outdoor education and leadership has improved, fewer women register and attend assessments for Mountain Training qualifications than men. The conference will aim to promote and support women within the adventure leadership sector. One of the driving elements of the conference is helping women build knowledge networks and explore the differences between men and women when building their careers and taking on leadership roles. A knowledge network enables women to go beyond their qualifications.

The ‘women-focused’ space will enable women, leaders and those from marginalised genders to explore new ideas, find solutions and share best practices to tackle those inequalities. The two-day free conference will feature workshops from inspirational women working in the outdoors. Themes include juggling parenthood, body inclusivity and building confidence and resilience.

Nicola Jasieniecka, Media and IT Development Officer at Mountain Training, comments: “Research undertaken by both Mountain Training and others shows women have different experiences to their male counterparts when undertaking Mountain Training qualifications and in their careers as leaders. Despite gender balance improving across all qualification levels, fewer women register, complete training and attend assessments for Mountain Training qualifications than men – a trend which becomes more pronounced in the higher qualification levels.

“With women and other marginalised groups still experiencing discrimination in society and the adventurous activity sphere, it is hoped the conference will allow women and leaders who identify as other marginalised genders to explore ideas, solutions and best practices which can be shared more; widely.”

Helen Barnard, Chief Instructor at Plas y Brenin, adds: “As the National Outdoor Centre, it is our role to set standards and drive change within the industry. We are incredibly proud to be the host venue for the conference.

“The face of the outdoors is changing, and as leading organisations in the outdoor industry, it is our responsibility to address inequalities and make sure we’re listening to concerns, acknowledging barriers and taking action to combat them.”

Saturday’s optional sessions:

  • Knowing when you’re ready for assessment – Kath James
  • Turning qualifications into a successful career/business – Siân Brewer
  • Body inclusivity in adventure activities – Maddie Sweetman
  • Pack hacks and top tips for a woman-friendly kit – Jenny Dart

Sunday’s optional sessions:

  • Mountains and parenthood: Having a family and an adventurous career – Mikaela Toczek
  • Building resilience, confidence and challenging imposter syndrome – Dr Rebecca Williams
  • Taking it to the next level – living and working through peri-menopause and menopause – Katherine Schirrmacher
  • Understanding leadership styles and developing your practice – Dr Samantha McElligott

The event is now sold out. More information can be found on Mountain Training’s website.