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Leadership Academy advocate: Viv Collins

A Q&A where graduates share their experiences of Leadership Academy training. What has it added to their life, both personally and professionally?


Viv Collins

Current role

Digital Infrastructure Delivery Manager for the Welsh Government.    

Which Leadership academy programme did you join and what were your initial thoughts?

I recently participated in the Empowering Women Wales programme for Welsh Government Employees in DDaT roles.  I was a bit unsure what I’d gain from the programme but keen to give it try. 

What were your first impressions?

It was a really positive experience. There was a wide variety of ages and roles and I could definitely see my younger self in a number of the participants.  One really powerful part of the course encouraged you to look closely at your values and beliefs; to use that to make sure you’re true to yourself and authentic.  We also heard some truly inspiring stories from guest speakers. 

What were the most powerful elements of the programme for you?

One of the key things I took away was the ability to silence you inner critic and boost your confidence. Be comfortable taking about yourself and your achievements with colleagues and be more visible.   

So here we go… 

After completing a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering I worked in the private sector for 13 years.  The longest stint with Atkins in Intelligent Transport Systems.  I joined the Welsh Government in 2004, initially as the street lighting and traffic signal engineer before going on to manage Traffic-Wales.  In 2009 I changed roles to Sustainable Travel Manager and client for Traveline Cymru and the South West Wales Transport Alliance.  I joined the Digital Infrastructure team in 2013.

I’ve 2 children; Suzie has a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and is finishing off a PhD investigating electrical machine winding design; and Tom has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has just started working for Jacobs. 

Some of the higher profile initiatives I’ve had the pleasure in managing include:

  • the smartcard for concessionary bus travel
  • an early adoption of PAYG smart ticketing on bus
  • the North Wales Traffic Management Centre build
  • superfast broadband to over 750,000 premises. 

What would you say to anyone thinking about joining the programme you enjoyed?

The final thing I took away from the programme was the power of networking and communication and I have made sure I embrace that and encourage others to do likewise.  I highly recommend the course. 

Read more about the Empowering Women programme. Places are subject to availability and membership level. Check with our Leadership Academy Manager for all  the information you need.