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Tuesday 02 July 2024

Fast Stream member Cyara Buchuck-Wilsenach receives FDA equality award

At this year’s ADC, Fast Stream member Cyara Buchuck-Wilsenach received the Wendy Jones Equality Award for her work to advance gender equality in the civil service.


Every year at the FDA’s Annual Delegate Conference, members are awarded for their unique contribution to the FDA’s work in supporting civil servants. The winners are nominated by their peers from within the union.

Fast Streamer and FDA member Cyara Buchuck-Wilsenach was awarded this year's Wendy Jones Award in recognition of her efforts to advance gender equality in the civil service. Cyara was presented with the award by former First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford. 

During Cyara’s placement in Defra in 2023, she was invited to sit on their gender board to share her academic expertise and civil society experience on gender. As a Fast Streamer, she was the only junior staff member invited to the board and worked to ensure that a range of issues affecting all women were heard. Cyara used the contacts she had gained to create a panel event to showcase the gender work and gender learnings made by different teams across the department, giving a range of women of all grades a chance to highlight their work.

Cyara also developed workshops on gender-based violence, which sensitively discussed the issue, and also looked at some key concepts to tackle it. Cyara was invited to run the workshop in her Defra directorate, plus in a number of others and an associated arms length body. On placement in DWP, Cyara has advised on the department's 2024-2025 gender strategy, engaging with the Women’s and Men’s Networks.

Cyara was an FDA delegate to the TUC Women’s Conference where she spoke passionately on the composite motion on ‘Recognising paid and unpaid care.’ As a young carer herself, she helped draw attention to the breadth of this issue in the UK.

Cyara said of her win:

“I'm still slightly pinching myself over the award! I've never won something quite so prestigious before and it's been wonderful to be recognised for the work I've done over this past year in particular.

Discussing her experience in the Fast Stream and the work she was recognised for in receiving the award, Cyara said: 

“When I joined the civil service two years ago I was keen to bring my interest in EDI into the departments that I worked for and I've been lucky that many have been very welcoming, allowing me to get stuck in, bringing new ideas and helping with existing work as part of my corporate objective. This is despite being in many departments for a relatively short space of time as a Fast Streamer. I'm a strong believer that culture eats strategy for breakfast, and I've brought this attitude to all that I do.”

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