It is crucial to pause and acknowledge the remarkable contributions of the women who have paved the way in various fields, spanning education, politics and sports. Hailing from diverse backgrounds, these women have established the groundwork for the upcoming generations in Cardiff.

Tracy Myhill OBE

Credit: Swansea Bay NHS

Tracy Myhill, with 37 years of NHS experience, served as Chief Executive in the ambulance sector and an integrated health board. Previously in HR Director roles, she led cultural transformation in the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, fostering trust and partnership with staff. A staunch advocate for equality, Tracy elevated diversity and inclusion in the ambulance sector at a UK level. Additionally, she successfully led recovery and support programmes in one of the UK’s largest integrated Health Boards. Committed to mentoring, Tracy actively supports individual development, providing executive mentoring to NHS organisations.

Aileen Richards

Credit: Welsh Rugby Union

Rugby occupies a distinctive role in Welsh culture and in 2015, Aileen Richards achieved a historic milestone as the first woman appointed to the Welsh Rugby Union board. With a lifelong dedication to supporting Welsh rugby, her groundbreaking inclusion represents a noteworthy advancement in the governance of the sport. This appointment reflects a clear commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity in the highest echelons of Welsh rugby. Aileen, leveraging her substantial corporate background and deep passion for the game, epitomises the forward-thinking transformation shaping the future of rugby in Wales.

Professor Millicent Mackenzie (1863-1942)

Credit: Humanist Heritage

In 1910, Millicent Mackenzie made history as the first female professor in Wales, breaking barriers in education. A trailblazer for women’s rights, she founded the Cardiff Suffragettes and became Wales’ first female parliamentary candidate in 1918. Beyond her political endeavours, Mackenzie was a dedicated humanist, advocating for morals over religious institutions and serving as a vice president for Humanists UK. Honoured with Parc Mackenzie in Cardiff, her legacy embodies an unwavering commitment to education, women’s suffrage and ethical principles — a pioneering spirit that advanced gender equality and educational reform.

Dr Ursula Masson (1945-2008)


Ursula Masson, a journalist, historian and writer, played a pivotal role in reviving forgotten works of 19th-20th-century Welsh female writers, contributing to the establishment of Honno Welsh Women’s Press. Transitioning from journalism to academia, she became a history lecturer in 1994 at the University of Glamorgan, where she founded the Centre for Gender Studies in Wales. In 1998, Ursula co-founded Women’s Archive Wales, dedicated to elevating women’s history in Wales. Her legacy endures through the annual Ursula Masson Memorial Lecture hosted by the Centre for Gender Studies in Wales.

Betty Campbell MBE (1934-2017)

Credit: Interesting Facts

Betty Campbell, born and raised in Butetown, Cardiff, made history as Wales’ first black headteacher. She championed multicultural education, integrating black history into the curriculum and contributing to the establishment of Black History Month in the UK. Betty’s commitment to inclusivity led to roles in the Home Office’s Race Advisory Committee and the Commission for Racial Equality. Recognised by Nelson Mandela and awarded an MBE in 2003, she is an inspiring educator and advocate for racial equality. The 2021 unveiling of the Statue of Betty Campbell in Cardiff’s city centre solidifies her enduring legacy.

Dilys Price OBE (1932-2020)

Credit: @dylispriceobe

Dilys Price, a pioneering educator and the world’s oldest female skydiver, left an extraordinary legacy. As a senior lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University, she transformed special needs education and co-founded the Wales Sports Centre for the Disabled in 1996. Leading on from this, Dilys established the Touch Trust, a charity dedicated to movement education for the disabled. Beginning her skydiving journey at 54, Dilys completed over 1,130 solo jumps, setting records and raising significant charity funds. Awarded an OBE in 2003 for her services to people with special needs, her fearless pursuit of passion and commitment to inclusivity continue to inspire.

Author WCS

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